Vintage Buttons

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Last summer I was working on a knitting project and I needed buttons.  Lots of buttons.  Preferably cute ones.  So I asked around my friends to see if they had any they could donate.  One friend gave me a box full of buttons; unfortunately most of those were way too big for what I was doing but there were some amazing vintage buttons buried amongst them.

Want to see?

Lansing Pearl Buttons Two on a Printed Card

These ones were still on their original packaging

Lansing Pearl Buttons Reverse of Card with Metal Clips

I haven’t seen clips like these used before to hold buttons down – they remind me of the clips that hold new shirts together

Tiny Metal Button with a Portrait of a Lady

There’s something really Italianate about this one. I wonder who she was?

Metal Button with Three Holly-Style Leaves

Pale turquoise plastic button with coloured dashes

I’m not sure if this one is technically ‘vintage’ – I’m sure my mother’s clothing used to have buttons like this!

Metal button with flower shapes, some painted

Gold-coloured metal button with an openwork design of three birds

This one suggests ‘Celtic’ to me – or maybe Anglo-Saxon

Metal button edged with painted flowers

And this one feels Swiss to me somehow

Textured translucent plastic button

I think this could pass as a blancmange…

Round plastic button with gold painted edges and bumps in a rectangular middle

I see Lego brick…

Silver-coloured button with leaf design

For some reason, this one makes me think of the old thrupenny bit – was it the thrupenny that had the thistles?

Brown and white plastic button with an etched 'Indian' design

Metal-backed pearly buttons

My friend knows nothing of where they came from or when as  she was passed the box of buttons from a neighbour who has since passed; we just know that the lady used to travel as a nurse and bought buttons as souvenirs.  I don’t know if you could do that so easily these days, it seems to me that the round, plain plastic button has become as universal and generic as too many other things in the modern world.

Have you got any special buttons to remind you of places or people or times?

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4 thoughts on “Vintage Buttons

  1. My grandmother had this ceramic apple – the top came off and she stored buttons in there. Of all the things I wanted, after she was gone, was that ceramic apple. Luckily, my sisters and cousins didn’t put up much of a fight. I pour over those buttons every time I’m missing her.

  2. You seem to have some treasures there. When I had some time to spare in a public library, I found a book all about the history of buttons and browsed. There were some wonderful ones and some dreadful ones. Sue

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