I've been so anxious to play with the buttons from the jar I posted about a few days ago. As I mentioned, I collect mother-of-pearl buttons and was hoping there were lots of them in this jar! A quart of buttons- which I dumped out on the floor (with permission, of course) at the Williamsburg Antique Mall just to make sure that hadn't put a few nice pearl buttons around the outside and stuck a bunch of cheap, crappy old plastic or new buttons in the middle to trick me into parting with my money. It looked like there were lots of beautiful buttons in there: pearl, celluloid, bakelite, probably even some vegetable ivory, glass, horn and bone.
So I dumped them all out (I had washed them with mild, soapy water last week, at which time a few disintegrated- obviously not pearls...):
Sorted into two piles, pearl on the left, everything else on the right:
Almost all were old, and almost half were pearl. Don't get me wrong. I don't discriminate. I love all kinds of old buttons. It's just that the pearls are so-o-o-o beautiful. And I love the way they feel. Sometimes when I'm really stressed and getting on my husband's nerves, he will suggest that I "go up to my cottage and run my fingers through my buttons". Works every time!
This button was the prize. Isn't it gorgeous? By the way, many of the buttons still had the aged thread and/or bits of material still attached. Sometimes I remove it, but with this button it just seemed right to leave it on.
There turned out to be three of these vintage flower buttons. Although not pearl, they are adorable. And I love finding sets! The notched pearl button above actually matches a larger one I already had in my collection. How cool is that?
Someday, I'll show you my pearl button collection, which is now an entire quart Mason jar full, plus many sets still on the cards (complete with great graphics), a special container of sets I've found in different batches I've bought, and an extra special container with my carved and unique mother-of-pearl buttons. Here are two of my favorites:
Then the buttons that aren't pearl need love too, so there are miscellaneous containers for my Granny's colorful buttons, bakelite, bone, plastic, metal, and the ever-growing container of buttons that need identifying. I don't spend much time on this because it's not really important to me. I just love the buttons!
Heres are links to a few good button articles:
- Jamie Brock's Vintage Button Guide includes methods of identifying vintage and antique buttons.
- Buttons in Time suggests cleaning methods.
- BurdaStyle details the history of pearl buttons and how they are made.