Convict uniform buttons


Archaeologists found over 250 bone buttons beneath the floorboards of Hyde Park Barracks, which were once attached to convict shirts, jackets and trousers, and then lost beneath the floors. Mainly one, three, four and five hole sew-through buttons, convict ‘slop’ clothing jackets, waistcoats and breeches (trousers) usually had medium-sized four-hole and five-hole bone buttons. Convict shirts had smaller three-hole or ‘3-way’ buttons (as seen intact on the collar of the convict shirt also found at the Barracks). It is likely that some convicts collected buttons, for trading with others who needed to replace missing buttons on their clothing, or to use as gaming tokens.

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Convict Sydney, Level 1, Hyde Park Barracks Museum
Convict Sydney


These convict-era objects and archaeological artefacts found at Hyde Park Barracks and The Mint (Rum Hospital) are among the rarest and most personal artefacts to have survived from Australia’s early convict period

Convict Sydney

Convict Sydney

From a struggling convict encampment to a thriving Pacific seaport, a city takes shape.

Close up of a ceramic bottle. This item was featured in one of our virtual excursions.

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