An important set of George III Irish Hunting Buttons made in Dublin Circa 1780.

An important set of George III Irish Hunting Buttons made in Dublin Circa 1780.


This extremely rare set of eight George III Hunting Buttons were made in Dublin circa 1780, three bearing the mark of the rare maker Bartholomew Delandre, one bearing the mark of Arthur Keen and the other four marked with the Harp and Hibernia. This is the first time we have ever seen any Irish Buttons and they are circular in form and are engraved with gilded stags passant on a silver ground and each is surrounded by a gilded inscription, "The Northern Rangers". The backs have plain applied rings and are contained in a later fitted case. The Buttons are identical.

Silver Hunting Buttons have always been popular with collectors particularly those examples from the 18th century. Although quite rare in English silver, they are seldom found with Irish Hallmarks. The most common form is with an engraved running fox and sometimes "Tally-Ho" above or below. This set is quite opulent by comparison, being parcel gilt, engraved with a stag and the name "The Northern Rangers."

The Northern Rangers were founded in 1774 and were a celebrated Hunting Club based in Dundalk, the county town of County Louth, Ireland. In "Ireland Exhibited to England: In a Political and Moral Survey of her Population", by A. Atkinson (Published in 1823), he comments on the Northern Rangers: "Some of the Gentry of the surrounding country, exhibit, in their manners and appearan, a degree of taste and elegance, that would not disgrace a court". These buttons would have been sewn three on each side at the front of the coat and two more are added in the small of the back, above the vent of the tails. The buttons are well marked and are in excellent condition. The rarity of these pieces makes them, without doubt, of museum importance. They are contained within a later velver and silk lined case.

Diameter: 0.8 inches, 2cm.