shirt studs in India

Frances Pritchett fp7 at COLUMBIA.EDU
Thu Dec 18 13:45:05 UTC 2008

Dear Allen,

I've seen these chained-together studs in groups of three or four, for 
specially made kurtas that have at the neck opening several sets of two 
buttonholes, rather than buttons and buttonholes. In the ones I've seen, 
the chains are decorative, and sometimes heavy and ornamented; they go 
outside the kurta, not inside, so that the whole thing is, if made in 
silver or gold, an elegant ornament. (There are cheaper ones in plainer 
metals too.) But I don't know if these are what you have in mind.

all the best for the holidays,

Allen W Thrasher wrote:
> Struggling with my black tie for the Romila Thapar award ceremony last week, the following question occurred to me.
> For special events Indian men will frequently wear silver, gold, or jeweled shirt studs, with a chain inside the shirt keeping them together and safe (very good idea).  In the Indian antique shops I have seen older ones, though I have no way of guessing their dates.  I have never seen the chained ones in Western antique shops.  
> Is there any evidence whether the use of studs existed before the British era?  Were they in use in Islamicate societies?
> I don't recall seeing them in miniatures.  Usually, of course, the shirts are double-breasted and  fastened at the shoulder.
> Allen
> Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
> Senior Reference Librarian
> Team Coordinator
> South Asia Team, Asian Division
> Library of Congress, Jefferson Building 150
> 101 Independence Ave., S.E.
> Washington, DC 20540-4810
> tel. 202-707-3732; fax 202-707-1724; athr at
> The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.

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