Antique Buttons

An old melody goes Lets go where I ll keep on wearin those frills and flowers and buttons and bows/And I ll stand out in buttons and bows. Buttons, those pretty little adornments on clothing, do make one stand out. Buttons can add personality to your attire. You can make a style statement with buttons alone. Some buttons can make you look classy and suave while others can make you look cool and funky.

Buttons have been around for thousands of years. They have been found even among the treasures in the Egyptian pyramids. It is said that antique buttons represent a cross-section of the human civilization through the centuries.

People through the ages have been fascinated by buttons. Collecting buttons has been one of the most popular hobbies of all times. Button aficionados around the world are in possession of such rare beauties as might befit the treasures of kings. There are numerous button clubs and societies that a button enthusiast can join.

Those tiny works of art come in all shapes, sizes and colors. The themes on which buttons are based are as wide as the human imagination. There are baby buttons and there are bridal buttons; there are buttons for suits and buttons for dresses. From flowers to smilies, from dolls to little hearts, there is no end to the shapes in which buttons come. Equally varied are the materials buttons are made of - ceramic, clay, porcelain, gold, silver, ivory, antler, leather, satin, glass, wood, rhinestone, pearl, pewter, plastic - the list could go on and on. Then there are the different kinds of buttons - from the plain old 'basic buttons' to the toggle, clasps and shank buttons.

Buttons serve a variety of purposes, right from holding a coat secure, to card-making and appliqué-work. But most of all buttons add a touch of beauty and color to life. Buttons are one of those little joys that make life beautiful.

Hello, and thanks for looking at my vintage collectible button shopping site.
If you re new to this site, please read quickly through the next couple of paragraphs and continue on down to the good stuff which includes some information on button collecting, along with dates and places for upcoming button shows.

Brief history of Collectible Buttons
Interestingly, it appears that the origin of buttons is rather obscure because of the lack of historical, written documentation. Buttons of a sort were used in Egypt at least 4,000 year ago and it s been learned that Chinese Mandarins used buttons to identify their castes and status around 2,000. The earliest documentation of buttons were ornamental, found in a grave of a Bulgarian princess about 600 BC. It has been noted that loose flowing garments worn by the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and others were secured by clasps, buckles, sashes, etc.

Many of the buttons collectors seek are those having been used as decoration on garments worn by royalty. Additionally, people of status wore beautiful buttons as trim. There have been buttons found which tell a story of travels, each button having been hand wrought by an artist, depicting various scenes.

Another thing I learned while persuing the hobby of button collecting is that glass and celluloid are probably the most plentiful of antique and vintage buttons. Like most who have found this wonderful hobby I try to sell and/or trade duplicate buttons as well as some I ve decided to not collect. Once you visit the Wild site mentioned above, you ll see some I ve decided to sell or trade; many of us button collectors sell some buttons to buy more.

Classifying Collectible Buttons
Moonglow buttons have been very popular in the collecting world. Many different colors, surface treatment and shapes as well as some pictorials can be found. I m not sure how the term moonglow came to be, but there is a way to determine the difference between an ordinary glass button and a moonglow button. There is a discernable, though in many instances thin, layer of clear glass over the top of the button. By holding the button by the shank and shining a pen-lite against the edge of the top, you can see the thin layer of clear glass.

It s difficult to explain here where I m trying to give an idea of how we display and/or compete; once you attend a button show, you ll see GORGEOUS, buttons of all materials and topics, properly mounted for both competition and preservation. This example shows black glass moonglows which have their own category as opposed to moonglows of all other colors. The base of these buttons is black, the tops may be almost any color and/or combination thereof.

Studio Buttons
Artists of varied media have found that button collectors admire their work and have pleased us enormously by sharing their talent in the form of gorgeous hand-crafted buttons.