Gold and silver buttons were an important element in the decoration of traditional Russian clothing. Many of these fascinating works have survived down to the present day. Buttons were extremely diverse in form, size, style and manufacturing technique in the seventeenth century. The names of the buttons reflected their purposes, forms and means of production – chest buttons, stomach buttons, halved buttons, pierced buttons, studded buttons, smooth buttons, faceted buttons and pinecone buttons. Elongated or rounded buttons were sewn onto a metal loop beneath the clothing. They were richly decorated with enamel, engraving, embossing and gilding. Precious stones, pearls and coloured glass were also employed. Large buttons were worn on official uniforms. Silver buttons were popular at the royal court and among boyars, nobles, merchants and farmers, increasing the value and splendour of the clothes. Buttons were also sewn onto religious garments.

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