On display

This item is on display at Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum

Buttons - circa 1880 Archaeology Reg. No: LL 73648

These nine buttons were excavated at one of the digs on the Commonwealth Block between 1988 and 2003. They are made from a variety of materials, including brass, shell, bone and glass. One button is made by Turner and Company.

Working in Little Lon.
Alongside the tightly packed cottages, commercial enterprise thrived in little Lon. Shops sold food and 'fancy goods'. Factories and workshops manufactured bellows, furniture, waterproof clothing and ice cream.

In the 1880s grocers flourished, and in the 1890s clothing firms and Chinese cabinet-makers dominated the local manufacturing scene. But Little Lon's most numerous businesses were the myriad hotels and brothels.

It is easy to overlook the 'invisible' work carried out in people's homes. Because such work was rarely documented we rely on things left behind to tell the story. The abundance of lace bobbins dug up at Little Lon hints at a lace-making industry and busy lives otherwise hidden from history.
Eight buttons of varying sizes and made of various materials. Nine buttons at this number, August 1999. Made of worked shell, white glass, brass. One made by Turner and Company.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Heritage Victoria, 2005
Discipline: Archaeology - Historical
Dimensions: 2 mm (Height), 25 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: largest of 9 buttons; Width = Diameter

More information

Tagged with: making history - little lonsdale street
Themes this item is part of: Little Lon, Little Lon Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
Activity: domestic
Trench Unit Number: 01/49/15
Inscriptions: None


veronica Posted on 25 Mar 2010 10:09 AM
i am an investigator in Argentina. I found a button of ivory or bone(i don t know)but it has three holes, Could i determinate the age .It is similar to the button at the picture the smaller white at the left
Discovery Centre Posted on 25 Mar 2010 4:33 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Veronica,

You might need to take the objects to a local expert in Argentina. The Museum staff here in Melbourne are unlikely to be able to age buttons without knowing more of the history of the pieces or being able to examine them.

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