Every once in a while–okay, fairly often–I get sucked down a rabbit hole. This week’s warren is vintage buttons. Naturally, I had to go looking for spooky ones.
Kaleidoscope buttons were first made in the 19th century. A metal plate is covered with a design, and a glass dome goes on top. Sometimes the dome is faceted, to create more of a kaleidoscope effect. The button above is probably much more recent–mid 20th century or so.
Black glass buttons became popular in the Victorian era. They were made to imitate the jet buttons the Queen wore in her mourning. In the 20th century, most of these beautiful buttons were produced by skilled glass craftsmen in Czechoslovakia.
Metal buttons from the Victorian era were made mostly of brass and copper. Pictorial buttons are highly prized. This spider looks like it might be domed as well.
Celluloid was the first man-made plastic, produced from wood and cotton fibers. It was very popular in the early 20th century. Highly flammable, it was eventually replaced with other materials.
This fantastic, glittery spider was listed merely as “composition,” which could mean anything, but commonly referred to “horn.” Horn buttons were ground cow hooves, pressed in a mold with other items–like glitter.
Moonglow buttons became popular in the mid-20th century. They were made in West Germany and Czechoslovakia. They have an opaque glass base with a satin finish, and are covered with clear glass to increase their luster. Moonglow subjects tend toward the pretty, but I did find this delicious pair sporting Halloween green stripes. (PS: I totally bought these. Yep.)
Edith and Alan Brooks hand-painted on plastic and glass blanks. They worked in England in the mid-20th century. The Brooks were primarily painters, and didn’t make many buttons, so these are rare collectors’ items.
I’m going to stop now. Thanks for indulging me in my little obsession. If you’ve caught the bug, learn about antique buttons at Vintage Buttons.net, Byson Buttons, and Ohio Buttons.
I leave you with some hand-made modern buttons.