This “Royal Navy Officer’s Button” is made of pewter and was found during an archaeological dig at the 1803 Sorrento Settlement site. These types of buttons were used by officers of the Royal Navy as part of their dress uniform.
At first, Royal Navy buttons consisted of white metal pewter, usually with a rose in the centre, representing the most famous symbol of the house of Tudor, the Tudor rose. In 1774 a foul anchor surrounded by rope edging took the place of the rose. The rope ‘fouling’ around the anchor was the added later. After the Merchant Navy started to use the foul anchor device, a crown was added for all naval officers in 1812. The same basic design remains in use today.
The foul anchor device itself was first used in the seal of the Lord High Admiral of Scotland in 1402. It was adopted by the British Admiralty for their seal and by a large number of other navies across the world.
- Title: Royal Navy Officer’s Button
- Date: 1800
- Material: Pewter
- Findsite: Sorrento, Victoria
- Museum: Old Treasury Building, Melbourne
“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.” – Australian Aboriginal saying
Photo Credit: By Joyofmuseums (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons