Diana's Buttons - British Button Backmarks

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Special thanks to Darren Reynolds of the Firmin and Sons, Ltd. for providing some great information on the company, along with current contact information! (Jan. 2007)

This list of backmarks and dates was compiled by a very nice gentleman in England, as well as gathered from Roger Millward's articles in Button Lines, the British Button Society publication and Military Button Manufacturers from the London Directories 1800-1899 by Peter Nayler, plus additions from other nice folks. Bob was kind enough to share his list with me. Thanks so much to Bob Dunn and these other gentlemen for the work that went into this research! I hope this list will be as useful to others as it has been to me!

Along with backmarks, another important consideration in studying uniform buttons is the construction and back of the button itself. Carol Cienna has created a wonderful Uniform Button Back Study. I highly recommend you check out this page, along with the rest of her informative site!

I welcome any additions or corrections. Please email me with any questions or comments at: Diana's Buttons Thanks for looking!

Backmarks on British Buttons and the Dates Used

Allen & Moore. 36 Great Hampton Rd. Birmingham (1855-1870)
W Anderson & Sons. Edinbourgh. (Circa 1870-?) Military Outfitters & Tailors.
Armfield & Co. Birmingham (1763)
Armfield & Co. Holloway Park. (1790)
Armfield & Co. Newhall St. (1891)
Armfield & Co. St. Pauls Square, Birmingham (1891)
Armfield & Co. Bombed out. (1940)
Army And Navy Co-Operative Society, 105 Victoria St. (1889-1934)
Aston (William). Princip St. (Pre 1876)

Baddell. Old Square. Birmingham (Pre 1739)
Barwell, Beck & Thomas. (1800s)
Boultotn (Matthew) Soho Works, Staffordshire (1756-1759)
Broadbottom Buttonery Studio Buttons available at The Shire Store, (2006-on)
Buttons Ltd. (1907)

Carlyle (Thomas) Ltd. Birmingham (1875)
Chatwyn J & T. (1851)

Deakin, Duncombe & Egginton. (1800s)
Durcombe, Eggington & Bingley, Lesdam. (1800s)
(Messers) Dain, Watts & Manton. Regent Works. Birmingham (1850s)

Elliot (William) & Son. Regent St. Birmingham (1717-1800)
Elliot (William) & Son. Frederick Street (1837)

Addresses in parentheses are listed for ownership of the firm, but may not appear on the actual back of the button.

Thomas Firming. (Pre 1770)
S. Firmin Strand (1771-1780)
Firmin & Westall. (53 The Strand. London.) (1794-1812)
Firmin & Langdale. (53 The Strand. London.) (1811-1824)
Firmin Strand London (c. 1825)
Robert Firmin. (Clare Court & Drury Lane.) (1826)
P & S Firmin (1837)
Firmin & King. (13 Condiut St.) (1838)
Firmin & Sons 153 Strand (-1875)
Firmin & Sons 153 Strand London (-1875)
Firmin & Sons 153 Strand & 13 Conduit St. London (1852-1875)
Firmin & Sons 13 Conduit St. London (date ?)
Firmin & Sons LD 153 Strand London (1876-1894)
Firmin & Sons LD 135 Strand London (error) (1876-1894)
Firmin & Sons LD 153 Strand, 47 Warwick St. London (1880-1894)
Firmins 47 Warwick Street W London (1879-1904)
Firmin & Sons LTD 6 Warwick St., Regent St London (date?)
Firmin & Sons London (late 19th Century)
Firmin London & Birmingham (1882-)
Firmin's London & B'ham (1882-)
Firmin LTD London & Birmingham (1882-)
Firmin & Sons LD Birmingham (1882-)
Firmin & Sons LD Halesowen (1882-)
Firmin & Sons LTD London Patent 2346 (1884-?)
Firmin & Sons LD St Martins Lane London (1895-1915)
Firmin & Sons LD 108 St Martins Lane London (1895-1915)
Firmin & Sons LD London (early 20th Century)
Firmin & Sons LTD London (early 20th Century)
Firmins LTD London (20th Century)
Firmin London (mid 20th Century)
Firmin England (mid 20th Century)

In 1875 the firm became a Ltd Co with these addresses:
Firmin & sons. 153 The Strand. (1875-1894)
Firmin & sons. 13 Condiut St. "
Firmin & sons. 20 Stanhope St. "
Firmin & sons. St. Martins Lane. "
Firmin & sons. Globe Works. "
Firmin & sons. Cork St. (1915)
Firmin & sons. 81 Ford St., London. (1968)
Firmin & sons. Newtown Row. Birmingham. (from 1971)

Interesting Firmin Tidbits, provided directly from Darren Reynolds of Firmin!
Firmin was located at Conduit Street from 1838 to 1879.
In 1882 Firmin and Sons opened a factory in St Paul's Square in Birmingham which remained there till 1892.
In 1892 the factory moved to Globe Works in Villa Street, Aston, Birmingham.
In 1971 the factory moved from Aston to Newtown Row where Firmin continues to manufacture buttons today.

In 1981 Firmin became Firmin and Sons, PLC.
In 1994 Firmin's London office closed.
Firmin from then on based solely at Firmin House in Newtown Row, Birmingham.
In 2006 Firmin reverted to Firmin and Sons Ltd.

J R Gaunt and Son was bought by Firmin and Sons in 1991 and remains part of Firmin and Sons Ltd today.

Thanks so much for this great information Darren!

Firmin's current address:
Firmin & Sons, Ltd.
Firmin House
82-86 New Town Row
Birmingham B6 4HU
website: www.firmin.co.uk
email: military@firmin.co.uk
Tel: 0121 380 0806
Fax: 0121 359 3321

Green, Cadbury & Richards. Friday Works. Summer Row (or Sumner Row). (1860-1876)
Green, Cadbury & Richards. Great Hampton St. (1876)

J R Gaunt & Son Birmingham (1870-1973)
J R Gaunt & Sons London (1884-1899, but also used well after this date)
J R Gaunt & Sons LTD London (1899-1991)
J R Gaunt & Sons LTD London ENG (1899-1991)
J R Gaunt & Sons LTD London ENGLD (1899-1991)
J R Gaunt & Sons LTD London England (1899-1991)
J R Gaunt & Sons LTD NY & London (after 1900)
J R Gaunt & Sons Montreal (dates?)
J R Gaunt & Son LTD Montreal Made in England (c.1901-c.1939?)
J R Gaunt & Son LTD Montreal (c.1914-c.1939)
J R Gaunt & Sons LTD Late Jennens London (1940-1948)
Gaunt London (1950's/60's on)
Gaunt London Eng (1950's/60's on)
J R Gaunt & Sons purchased by Firmin and Sons, Ltd. (1991)

Sydney Griffith, Birmingham. (Circa 1900-1925)

Hammond, Turner & Sons. 100 Snowhill. Birmingham (1717-1800)
Hammond, Turner & Dickinson. (H.T.D.) (1800-1812)
Hammond, Turner & Sons. (1850s)
Hammond, Turner & Bates. (H.T.B.) Manchester. (1850s)
Harris (William). Halesowen. Birmingham (1840)
Harrison & Smith. Birmingham (1875)
Hardman & Illife. Birmingham (1800s)
Joseph Harvey. Park St., Birmingham. (1815)

Charles Jennens. (1800-1832)
Jennens & Co London. (1832-1912)
Jennens & Co Ltd London. (1912-1924)
Then amalgamated with J.R.Gaunt.

Lesdam, Bratt & Co. (1800)

Monnery & Gieve. A military tailor not a button maker.
Morten & Crowder Ltd, Birmingham. (Circa 1900-1925)

Nutting (I) & Sons, later Nutting & Co which combined with Sherlock & Co. (1840-1912)
Neil & Tonks. 13 Charles St., Birmingham. (1855-1875)

Plant, Green & Manton. (1907)
D W Pigott Ltd. 8 Lad Lane, London. (Button with this backmark from 1880-1900)
Piggot or Piggott & Co. Birmingham. (1800s)

Rawley (Charles). Birmingham (1800s)

Sclater & Sons. Edinburgh. (1900s)
Stephen Simpson. Preston. (Circa 1870-1900)
Smith, Kemp & Wright Ltd. Brearley St., Birmingham (1840)
Stewart & Co. (1900s)
E Stillwell & Sons, London, Little Britain & Barbican. (Circa 1900)

Thomas, (Sir) Edward. (1800-1850)
Thurkle (Edward) taken over by Gaunt 1920s
Twigg (W). 12 St. James St., Birmingham (1840)
Twigg (G). Powell St., Birmingham (1853)
Twigg (Sylvester). Powell St., Birmingham (1855)

C&J Weldon, London. (Circa 1880-1910)

Backmark list 2000-2007 by Bob Dunn and Diana Hefti, with THANKS to Roger Millward and Peter Nayler.

Last Updated January 31, 2007

About Me!
British Button Article
British Button Backmarks
British Buttons
Uniform Buttons
Please Help ID
Non-Uniform Buttons
General Button Article
Email me!