Livery buttons often had family crests & were worn by menservants of the 18th and 19th century. Most of those pictured here were made by Firmin & Sons, London.
Porcelain stud buttons were often sold blank & ladies could paint them at home to wear & exchange with friends.
Salesman's cards would often have variations of the same button for buyers to choose from. These black glass buttons have differing tints.
Buttons on their original cards by the same maker.
Virtue, Liberty,and Independence is the state motto of Pennsylvania. The motto of was officially adopted in 1875. The meaning of the Pennsylvania State Motto reflects the attitude & hope of the people of New York following the outbreak of the War Of Independence in 1775-1783.
The images of horses, eagle, wheat, plow & boat are all on the state flag of Pennsylvania.
When seen individually, many people mistake silk braid buttons for mourning buttons made of hair. Silk braid buttons were often dyed colors, like blue & green. Mourning buttons used a loved ones hair that was its original color. Mourning buttons were special & the hair was often set in gold, where as these silk buttons were set in vegetable ivory.
These brite cut buttons with brass birds were used on a wedding dress in 1886. White wedding dresses became popular in 1840 after Queen Victoria married Prince Albert. Before that, wedding dresses came in many colors.
During the Middle Ages & Renaissance, colors had symbolic meanings and wedding dresses were made in a range of colors. Blue was a popular choice as it represented chastity but brides also choose colors like green, red & yellow.