Teeny tiny Czech glass buttons on original cards, c1920s. Buttons measure about 1/4". I imagine these trimming some gorgeous creation that flappers like Louise Brooks wore.
A bit too plain for jewelry, these lovely silk buttons are perfect for costuming & re-enactors. The 2 cards at the top have a subtle stripe, while the set at the bottom has a braided center. The braided buttons are in a hard setting, most likely vegetable ivory. All have padded backs to sew through. Because these buttons would be more permanently attached by being sewn on, they were probably made for garments that weren't laundered as often such as coats & vests.
Found 2 full cards of these Paris Mode brand Edwardian buttons. They are nice, large (1 1/4"), and in good condition, even though the cards are quite stained & dirty. Not a horribly exciting design, a sprig of fern & basket, but ok nonetheless. This is the 1st time that I've seen a Paris Mode card that was marked "Made in Germany," at the bottom.
Antique buttons with designs of plant life, unused, on their original cards. The top 2 images are of black glass buttons, the others are metal picture buttons.
Victorian twinkle buttons, that have a reflective inner layer that is meant to provide additional shine & brilliance; unused on their original cards.
I vended at the Cupertino Cherry Blossom festival in April. There was a lady there who was telling her friend that there was no way that the buttons I use were Victorian. Pardon? The colors were too bright she said. Yes, well that's because I try to purchase as many unused cards of buttons as I can afford. Just because the photos from that era are black & white, doesn't mean that their clothing was too.
Getting a full card of buttons is always a thrill. Even a partial card of buttons is a great find. However, the cards they come on are not always such a treat. In fact, 100+ year-old cardboard that's been exposed to too many elements can be down right disgusting. Like in the top picture, some are rusty, moldy, or crumble at the slightest touch. Others will surprise & delight as much as the buttons with their charming artwork.