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I was lucky enough to connect with someone who knew the history of the buttons used to create this type of brooch. Here is their explanation:

"This fascinating form of button was developed in the Netherlands, where 18th century male residents of Zeeland wore it as part of their traditional regional costume. The "Zeeuwse knopen" are convex cannetille filigree buttons made using coiled and twisted gold and silver wires. The golden ones were worn at the neck to close the shirt at the top. The bigger silver ones were trouser buttons to close the long flap trousers of black velvet or wool on the front. Those who could affort wore "gold under the throat and silver on the belly". Boys and poor men wore trouser buttons made of coins.

Zeeuwse Knopen means knots or buttons of Zeeland, a province in Holland. Ladies would have worn this brooch on their hats, and men would have worn buttons of the same design on their shirts. The canettile work is amazing, and the tube hinge at least looks to be sterling, though the metal is untested. Measures 1 1/4" across, including the pin stem, which extends beyond the brooch. Just over 1/2" high.

A rare and unusual piece of history, circa mid-1800s....

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Victorian Brooch Dutch Buttons Zeeuwse Knopen Traditional Costume Zeeland Holland 1800s Antique Jewelry


  • Vintage item from the 1800s
  • Materials: sterling silver, tube hinge
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 274 reviews
  • Favorited by: 6 people