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Button recovered from the wreck of the DUNBAR

Date: Before 1857
Overall: 2 x 25 mm, 0.004 kg
Medium: Alloy
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with the assistance of the Andrew Thyne Reid Trust
Object Name: Button
Object No: 00025368
Place Manufactured:London
Related Place:South Head,

User Terms

    A stamped metal button. The front is impressed with the script initials `TSL'. The manufacturer's details `Firmin & Sons / London' appear on the back. Part of the material from the historic shipwreck DUNBAR.
    The DUNBAR Collection was retrieved under the auspices of an amnesty enacted through the jurisdiction of the Historic Shipwrecks Act, 1976.
    SignificanceThe DUNBAR was one of the most devastating shipwrecks off New South Wales and affected the growing city profoundly. Despite the growth of the economy and the hopes that the gold rush bought, travel was still perilous and Australia was still a vast distance from 'home'.
    HistoryEstablished in 1677 with origins dating back to before the reign of Charles II, Firmin & Sons is one of the longest established companies in the United Kingdom. Originally based in the City of London, the Company moved to Birmingham, the manufacturing heartland of the UK, in the late 19 th Century.

    Firmin and Sons currently holds three Royal Warrants of Appointment and has the honour of holding the Royal Warrant of Appointment as button manufacturer to Her Majesty The Queen. The same warrant has been held for each successive monarch since King George II, showing its continuous commitment to providing products and services of the very highest standards.

    The Firmin Group incorporates several other long established companies which include J R Gaunt & Son (established 1750), William Dowler & Son (established 1774), Smith & Wright (established 18 th century) and Stratton of London (established 1860).

    The first known record of the Company came with the reference to Thomas Firmin, the button maker, in the 'List of Names of Merchants in London' for the year 1677.

    By 1754, the Company's ledgers and order books recorded purchases by King George II and various other members of the British Royal Family. The first known Royal Warrant as button makers was granted by King George III in 1796. Thereafter Firmin has held Warrants for every successive British Sovereign to the present day.

    From modest beginnings as button makers, Firmin became the leading supplier of every form of uniform, livery or badge, and the accessories and accoutrements to go with them. This achievement was recognised when Firmin exhibited at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. Firmin's renown was international: in the American Civil War both sides wore Firmin buttons.

    The expertise Firmin has gained over the centuries perfecting the highest quality of manufacture and service is now applied to providing the requirements of overseas clients. Firmin aims to fulfil these requirements in the national style, to a standard reflecting international protocol. May 2007
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