The set comprise of the following items:
Three tunic sized, Royal Irish Constabulary buttons. These would have been worn on the front of the tunic. The buttons are in superb condition and obviously never used. All the buttons are black horn type, all buttons are other ranks type and they have a king’s crown dating them between 1902 and 1922 when the R.I.C was disbanded.
Next we have four small buttons – all R.I.C marked and identical to the above buttons except they are smaller and would have been worn on the breast pockets and on the epaulettes.
All the buttons are secured to a tan coloured piece of material and secured with a black and white piece of original string.
Also attached are two metal hooks. The purpose of the hooks is to attach them to either side of an R.I.C tunic in order to support a black leather snake belt.
There is also a hook/fastener. This would have been located on a tunic collar in front of the leather tab/flap.
Finally there is a brown leather rectangular flap. This was worn behind the tunic collar at the front where the tunic collar closes over.
Interpretation: I am still not fully convinced on the actual purpose of the set. There are two possibilities I believe. They may have been issued as spare pieces of kit to an R.I.C constable. However, I’m more inclined to think that they were supplied to military and police tailors to use to complete and finish an R.I.C tunic.
Originally a pair of R.I.C collar badges, the hooks for the tunic collar, belt supporting hooks, full set of buttons and a length of black thread would comprise the entire assemblage. This leads me to thing the set was more intended for a tailor to complete a tunic rather than the policeman to use as a repair kit/spares.