I appreciate all your informed comments about Natal badges. Have you recorded the signs and other evidence for the dates and places of manufacture? It would be very helpful to people with a superficial knowledge of the subject (eg me), and it would certainly make badge collecting more interesting and rewarding.
The badges that you mentioned in Owen are all struck from a die, there were many companies here that made such items, Firmin, Gaunt, Woodward, Hobson's etc, the Natal Police buttons are made in the same way, both the Victorian and Edwardian examples that you show in this post have a manufacturers name on the back do they not?
I would be amazed if they were not made in Britain, The Victorian Natal Carbineers buttons were made by Hobson and Son's in London for example and not just the officers buttons!
I have for many years now, believed that many early badges of the British Army were actually made in Germany, because Britain did not have the industry to do it, just as South Africa did not have the industry to make them at the end of the 19th century.
There were however a number of early silversmiths and jewellers in South Africa, (Many in Kingwilliams Town) who did make many badges during the Boer War, List Bros had premises in J'burg and in Durban, on West Street, I believe!
They made the slouch hat badges for the Natal/Imperial Guides, some are marked as such, others are not, all are made in the same way, out of the same materials and finished in the same way.
Wade's in Pietermaritzburg made a number of badges for the Natal Carbineers, they just made a copy of the existing badges, that had been issued before, in silver, hand made (maker marked) and exquisite, as you would expect of a good jeweller, but this was a cottage industry and I would say these were for individuals and not the corps as a whole.
I have seen more than one Natal Police slouch hat badge that I would place in this latter category. NP in interlaced script with an applied crown.
Kind regards Frank
Thanks for your comment. Because of Frank's posts, I have been looking at the small number of badges and buttons in my collection with new, and more appreciative, eyes.
Thank you for continuing your informative posts. I will copy the last one and keep it for reference purposes.
The NP buttons that I showed were made by Firman and Hobson & Sons. I have checked some of the badges, but none show maker's names. I will be doing some exploring in the local militaria shop and I will post anything interesting that turns up.
I think I may have shown the picture below elsewhere on this forum but, in view of the subject matter of this thread, I am repeating it here.
The medals are those shown in my avatar and belonged to Inspector A G Abraham, who served in the Natal Mounted Police (1886-1894) and Natal Police (1894-1906), with examples of the badges he would have worn during his career in uniform. The two missing badges are shown as photocopies from Owen's book.