Button up your Breeches!

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Have you ever heard of, or seen a Flap-Button?

A flap button is a very large button that is worn by men as part of his breeches in some regions of The Netherlands as part of their Dutch regional costumes, including in Zeeland. The flap buttons are worn in pairs, and are usually made of silver. A cheaper version could be made of silver-plated brass or even wood.

Silver flap buttons were often richly decorated and can be seen as a form of jewellery for men. The Flap Buttons were put through the large buttonholes in the waistband and front flap of the breeches, and were attached to each other at the back, so that the front flap was kept closed. The fastening is similar to cufflinks.
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Lot 114. A Rare Pair of 18th Century Silver Axel Flap Buttons. Estimate: €300-€400. Offered in the Zeelandia Collection on the 29th of January 2022.
A young farmer wearing a large pair of silver flap-buttons on his breeches.
The flap buttons are often quite large, with dimensions up to 9.5 cm have been known to occur. Breeches were richly decorated, with flap buttons that had fine filigree work. Sometimes these buttons were made from a silver coin, so that, for example, the coat of arms of the Netherlands remained visible. In a few cases French coins were used.

In the regional dress of Axel, but also that of Volendam, the trousers were traditionally decorated with a rider on horseback. Flap buttons were also decorated with Biblical representations, for example Christ with the Samaritan woman or Joseph with Potiphar's wife.
Lot 111: Large, round disc-shaped 'buttons' with a twisted cable edge, between which an engraved decor and image of Johan Willem de Paltzgraaf and around which a text band and fictitious year 1711 in Roman numerals. Held together with an elliptical silver 'link'.

If you wish to discover more about these beautiful silver buttons and their history, visit us at our viewing days for the Zeelandia collection, on the 26th, 27th and 28th of January 2022. or contact us directly to speak with one of our specialists.