Several types of Victorian metal picture buttons with dragons and winged beasts. Includes one depicting Saint George slaying a dragon.
Dignity & Impudence, inspired by the popular 1839 painting by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer.
Mans best friend immortalized in button form. Includes a couple of sporting buttons & various breeds.
Antique Victorian crane buttons made in Paris, France, on original card with blue metallic tint. The crane, stork, or heron are 3 similar looking birds with similar symbolism dating to ancient times. Fifteen species of crane inhabit five continents.
Greek & Roman myth described the dance of cranes as one of love, joy & a celebration of life. The crane was associated with the sun god Apollo & is a sign of Spring. In Japanese, Chinese & Korean culture, the cranes fabled lifespan of 1000 years has made it a symbol of longevity, immortality & happiness.
The Japanese Crane has a red crown & white body. It stands nearly 5ft tall, with a wingspan of more than 6ft & is considered one of the most magnificent. These large & powerful wings were believed to carry people to higher levels of spiritual enlightenment & souls to paradise. The Japanese refer to the crane as “the bird of happiness;” the Chinese as “heavenly crane,” believing it to be a symbol of wisdom.
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.
I often wonder about the reasoning behind some design choices of button manufacturers in the 19th century. Some designs include everyday objects such as the corner of a lacy handkerchief, dice, horseshoes, buckles, bows, tassels, wreaths, fringed pillows, shells, medieval weaponry, umbrellas, plant containers, vases & more. The design on the large unused buttons of this card are a decorative box on a fancy lace doily.
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.
Nearly a full card of pierced brass buttons with floral designs. Four different flowers among swirling leaves.
In the Victorian era, people enjoyed the use of symbolism in their everyday objects to provide additional meaning & transmit secret messages of love & friendship. There was entire "language of flowers," in which different floral arrangements conveyed certain feelings & messages. Even the placement & direction of a stamp on correspondence could convey a secret message of the heart.
One might expect anchors to represent the navy or military. In fact, the anchor was often paired in Victorian jewelry, accessories & buttons with a cross & heart. This trio represented faith hope & charity (or love), with the anchor meaning hope.
This card was made in Paris, France & the buttons still have their bright gold finish.
I love having a large lot of buttons to pick through. This grouping had all kinds of buttons including pictures, storybook, twinkles, pressed pewter, Czech glass, waistcoat, black glass, plain brass, mother of pearl & velvet perfume buttons.
3rd picture from the top is a storybook button with a design known as the "Easter Boat Ride." It depicts 2 birds towing a 1/2 shell boat with 2 figures inside.
Several, like the navy twinkle buttons & those with a strawberry design have worked their way into bracelets, while others have been sold.
A charm string or memory string was a 19th century pastime which consisted of collecting buttons & other small mementos & stringing them together.
Young women of the 1860s-1900s would have parties in which they would exchange buttons & stories associated with them, Rules dictated that buttons couldn't be purchased for the collection & had to be gifts from other collectors, suitors, friends or family. The gift of a button was considered lucky & the stringing of the buttons on a string enhanced good luck.
Strings were often left in view of visitors in order to encourage donations as well as conversation starter by serving as a memento & reminder of past events. The string became a physical reminder of the button owner & times associated with that person.
Lore has it that girls who collected 999 buttons would meet her true love after adding the 1000th. Other stories claim the addition of the 1000th would doom the girl to spinsterhood. One thousand button strings are rare & most were much smaller. This one has about 150 buttons.