Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Postcard showing Raphael's painting of the Madonna in the Sistine Chapel.
The large button is one piece brass with border of winged cherub heads and stars..the 2 larger pensive cherubs are also brass..those 3 buttons are antique..the 2 small buttons are modern.
Click on picture to enlarge.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my part of Idaho.
Sure thought I spotted Rudolph and Santa!!?
Alas..tis not..upon further investigation the name of this button is "Laplander Driving a Reindeer " antique, brass
Saturday, December 11, 2010
The stork is wearing top-hat, ribboned glasses and carrying cane advances with dignity as the butler announces him.
from the big book of buttons
"A beautifully detailed button of stamped brass. Children must have recognized these characters instantly in the 1880's but the identity of the story is not known at present."
I did a little research and couldn't find anything about this story..the button is antique and scarce.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
The Ant and the Grasshopper, also known as The Grasshopper and the Ant or The Grasshopper and the Ants, is a Aesop fable providing a moral lesson about hard work and preparation.
The fable concerns a grasshopper who has spent the warm months singing away while the ant (or ants in some editions) worked to store up food for winter. When winter arrives, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger, and upon asking the ant for food is only rebuked for its idleness. The story is used to teach the virtues of hard work and saving, and the perils of improvidence. Some versions of the fable state a moral at the end, along the lines of: "Idleness brings want", "To work today is to eat tomorrow", "Prepare for want before it comes".
There are many versions, here is one.
In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
"Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?"
"I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same."
"Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants
distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew:
It is best to prepare for the days of necessity
Monday, November 22, 2010
Turkey buttons are extremely rare..I only have 3, first is a modern plastic, second is a antique 2 piece brass and last is a Arita porcelain.
Legend has it that if Ben Franklin had had his way, the turkey would have been our National bird. It seems that on July 4th 1776, the Continental Congress resolved that Dr. Franklin, Mr. Adams and Mr. T. Jefferson form a committee to prepare a device for the seal of the new U.S. of America.
Although Dr. Franklin had strong feelings about the turkey since he was a native bird, his idea was overridden by Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Adams who felt the Americal bald, or white-headed, eagle more nearly symbolized the solidarity they wished to convey in the national seal. After all, the eagle had been used since antiquity as a symbol of strength and freedom. In contrast, the turkey was not known for bravery and was known for its unwillingness to fly - and even then only in short bursts of flight!
The turkey has a strange history. It is a native of the North American continent; however, the Indians were superstitious about the bird and did not hunt it for food. The Spaniards found it in Mexico and took it back to Europe in the 16th Century, where it was domesticated. It became very popular in England, where it was named Turkey-Cock after the Guinea fowl of Islam or Turkey. When the Pilgrims came to Plymouth in 1620, they brought the turkey back to its native land.
Technically, the turkey is of the pheasant family (order of galliformes in the meleagridae gallopavo). The fleshy growth on the front of the throat is a snood or dewbill; the pauch-like area at the front of his throat is a wattle; the small reddish growth of skin at the base of his throat is the carancle. The male of the species is a tom; the female is a hen, and the young turkey is a poult.
And so, even thought the turkey lost his opportunity to become our National emblem, he has become dear to the hearts and stomachs of Americans as the symbol and star of our Thanksgiving feast.
my thanks to the late Freddie Speights for this article published in the N.B.B. 1984
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The button and this article are in the National Button Society bulletin May 1946.
The story of transportation may be said to be the story of civilization. In these modern times the world has become criss-crossed with railroads and steamship lines and motor highways and air routes and man has begun to understand how transportation has enriched human life. Without these facilities as we know them today, there could be little progress.
England had the satisfaction of opening the first railroad over which passengers and freight were carried by a locomotive. The U.S. was not far behind, experimenting in several parts of the country between 1827 and 1838. France developed its system in 1842; Belgium and the Netherlands followed but Germany, Austria and Russia were somewhat behind the Western nations in their railroad development.
The moon in all of its phases, together with the "Man in the Moon" has always been a popular theme in verse, song, story and picture. And it seems that the designers for our buttons must have found it appealing also since the subject was used either alone or in combination with scenic views or other celestial bodies.
This button picturing a locomotive and passenger cars entering the secondary planet, the MOON, with a mere glimpse of EARTH some 237,000 miles away is one piece brass, antique.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Ralph DeCew is a polymer clay artist experienced in creating wonderful reproductions of Kate Greenaway and many other fine picture buttons. His workshop is located in Sterling Heights, MI where he has the encouragement of his wife, Sheri, who is an avid button collector and source of inspiration. Ralph's work is now expanding by intermingling metal and other materials into his polymer clay creations, and he has also begun painting in acrylic on wood. He is an up and coming Studio Artist for 2010. All pieces are signed and dated.
contact him at email@example.com
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
I have heard these called..tac-back scatter pins, pinch backs, snap-backs, clutch pins, clutchettes, fashion pins and clasp pins. These are whimsical clothing accessories, popular from the 1940's to the 1960's. Click on picture to enlarge.
I have several cards for sale in my ecrater store, look under the category STUFF tac-back pins.
@ Pegs Buttons
Friday, September 17, 2010
Ceramic buttons with transfer designs of eight of the most beloved Mother Goose Tales. These sets, with four buttons apiece, were made in Japan for American button dealer Lois Calkins. Lois advertised these buttons in the National Button Society booklet..the first ad appears in the March 1955 issue for Hey Diddle Diddle, $1.00 per set. Lois died in 2002.
Here are the 8 sets (click on picture to enlarge) Hey Diddle Diddle, King Cole, Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Three Little Kittens, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Goose that Laid the Golden Egg, Sing a Song o'Sixpense
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The Edelweiss Flower is found in the Alpine countries of Europe, and is highly prized by mountaineers as a sign of victory over the mountains and its dangers. Many a mountaineer has fallen trying to pluck one from the steep rocks.
These are silver colored metal with a loop shank, size 11/16 and 7/8..both have a GESCH backmark.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Here is one idea someone had in the late 1800's..the pitcher was decorated using putty..there are buttons, coins, scissors, 2 old teeth, buckles, dolls, keys, thimbles, screws and many other various objects.
I have this pitcher now, the last owner sprayed it with gold paint..it sits on my computer desk on a turn table in a large glass dome..so I can spin it around to see all!
I don't have a camera, only a scanner so can't show you the real thing..but here it is on the cover of Just Buttons magazine.
Click on picture to enlarge.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959. All things Hawaiian were a great interest and popularity on the mainland, and buttons such as these became available.
Part of the Hawaii craze, 'Gooney birds' became part of the vernacular.
The enameled brass orchid is lovely.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Button collectors often find small, painted wooden doll-like buttons, but few realize what they are..tiny KOKESHI. Very popular in Japan as household ornaments, Kokeshi there are avidly collected. Always of wood in a stylized, cylindrical body form, Kokeshi have a distinct head, but no limbs (the arms, hands, and legs are not carved, but inferred) and the hair and features are painted without detail to "preserve and further exaggerate the basic simplicity of the piece". NON-button Kokeshi range in size from 1 inch to 24 inches.
If you are lucky enough to find a Kokeshi button, look at it very carefully--a very few lucky collectors have discovered that the head of their little button-doll unscrewed, and within the hollow body were tiny ivory dice.
Info. from "About Buttons Book" by Peggy Ann Obsorne
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Charles Monroe Schulz 1922-2000
American cartoonist, whose comic strip PEANUTS is considered to be one of the most popular and influential in the history of the medium.
Here's my fun cards of snoppy and friends!
Oops..how did Mickey Mouse get on the first card?
I have many snoopy and other cartoon character buttons for sale in my button store..look in the plastic category @Pegs Buttons
Friday, May 28, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
This is a card I entered in a button show several years ago..Award read, SHELL specialized to painted or encrusted, gilded, cut steels, watch wheel, Colonial pearl and backgrounds. Hope you can see the picture as these are lovely buttons. (click to enlarge)
Monday, May 17, 2010
The fop was a stock character in English literature and especially comic drama, as well as satirical prints. He is a "man of fashion" who overdresses, aspires to wit, and generally puts on airs, which may include aspiring to a higher social station than others think he has. He may be somewhat effeminate, although this rarely affects his pursuit of an heiress. He may also overdo being fashionably French by wearing French clothes and using French vocabulary.
The buttons on this card are antique, all are metal.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Tintypes, more properly called ferrotypes, were quite popular in the period from 1850's through the early 1900's. The introduction of this method of photography was a great step forward in producing multiple permanent images. This was done by projecting a positive image on a thin plate of japanned iron which had been coated with a collodion emulsion. The process was inexpensive.
For use on buttons, the same image was reproduced many times, close together, on one sheet. The pictures were cut out with a circular chisel to make button disks.
Tintypes buttons are almost all small brass-rimmed men's waistcoat (vest) buttons; the far-fewer larger ones were worn on women's dresses.
It is said men going to war wore small-size buttons on their vests with pictures of their mothers, children, wives, or sweethearts. Many tintypes are pictures of Royal, military and political leaders and other famous people.
The only one on my card that I know of is the top button..Actress Adah Isaccs Menken (1835-1868), whose main claim to fame was from her stage role in MUZEPPA and her scandalous exit from the stage--riding, in a nude-colored body stocking, strapped to the back of a galloping horse. It brought down the house at theatres worldwide.
CLICK on picture to enlarge.
Interesting hats, hair styles and clothing!
Monday, May 3, 2010
From my personal collection..materials: bakelite, metal, rubber, celluloid, plastic, fabric, the purple button is poly-clay and those are REAL teeth. FUN CARD!
I do have a small group of lip buttons for sale under the Mixed Materials category @Pegs Buttons
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Swedish-Modern was primarily a decorative-arts style--only to a much smaller degree a fine-arts style...which is associated with Swedish furniture design. It epitomized minimalistic sophistication, and for several years the entire home-decor industry was under its influence. Various graphic arts were also widely involved.
Representational art from this period was drawn in a simple, clean-lined, almost child-like manner and color was kept to a minimum. But whether a conventional design, or pictorial theme, the look was rather stark.
During the late 1950's and early 60's, when the influence of this style monopolized the decorative arts, buttons were not in fashion and manufacturers produced few of interest. Nevertheless, a dedicated collector will be able to find buttons from this era that reflect the Swedish-Modern style.
THE BUTTON: A modernistic button design of aluminum
Above information is from the About Buttons book by Peggy Ann Osborne
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Archaeologically-styled decorative-arts products were made to copy the look of Etruscan and Hellenic jewelry from the 7th to 3rd centuries B.C. Sun signs, animal heads, wreathes, and broad, flat leaves were among the usual motifs.
In ancient times, the goldsmiths of Etruria (now western Tuscany, Italy) were greatly admired for their technical mastery and artistry in gold-work, especially the technique known as granulation--the affixing of decorative trim made up of tiny gold beads to a gold surface.
The archaeological digs of the early nineteenth century yielded examples of this work, which had until then never been seen by modern metalsmiths. The gold-granulation decorative process had been lost, but Roman dealer and jeweler Fortunato Castellani sought to revive the styles, motifs, and artistry of such pieces. He did indeed discover the long-lost methods, and his copies became world-famous, the definitive modern reproductions of this ancient technique; the process is now often just referred to as 'Castellani-style'.
THE BUTTON: The steel-bodied button has an Etruscan escutcheon over a wooden background, although the center motif is Neo-Classic style. There are also a few important additions typical of the Etruscan style: the balls at the base of each radiating brass strip, this particular leaf shape, and the zip-zag pattern on the flat brass strips.
Above information is from the About Buttons book by Peggy Ann Osborne
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Surrealism is an elemental art style, derived from Cubism but relying on fantasy, including the absurd, the incongruous, the weird, and occasionally the morbid. It never had the impact on the decorative arts that its fame since would imply. Surrealism was almost entirely limited to the most radical element of the fine arts community; thus buttons with motifs that can be called Surreal are very rarely found.
Surrealism was as much an exercise of intellectual freedom as it was a fine art. Its philosophical leaders, such as Germany's Max Ernst and Spain's Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, intended it to be free of every normal aesthetic and moral limitation.
"The object was to free artists from all accepted means of expression, so that they might create according to the irrational dictates of their subconscious mind and vision."
It is difficult to fit Picasso into any one style of art because of his forays into many styles, including Expressionism and Cubism as well as Surrealism, but there are buttons that very closely resemble his work.
The above BUTTON: One of the themes common to Surrealistic art was the disembodied hand. Unlike the hand images prevalent in the Victorian era, the Surrealistic hand was mystical, quite unconnected to even an unseen body, and vaguely disconcerting or threatening. This small West German glass button with stylized hands was made during the mid-1950's
Surrealism information is from the About Buttons book by Peggy Ann Osborne
Monday, April 5, 2010
Art Deco was a popular international art design movement from 1925 until the 1940s, affecting the decorative arts such as architecture, interior design and industrial design, as well as the visual arts such as fashion, painting, the graphic arts and film. At the time, this style was seen as elegant, glamorous, functional and modern.
The movement was a mixture of many different styles and movements of the early 20th century, including Neoclassical, Constructivism, Cubism, Modernism, Art Nouveau, and Futurism. Its popularity peaked in Europe during the Roaring Twenties and continued strongly in the United States through the 1930s. Although many design movements have political or philosophical roots or intentions, Art Deco was purely decorative.
Art Deco experienced a decline in popularity during the late '30s and early '40s, but experienced a resurgence with the popularization of graphic design in the 1980s. Art Deco had a profound influence on many later artistic movements, such as Memphis and Pop art.
Surviving examples may still be seen in many different locations worldwide, in countries as diverse as China (Shanghai), United Kingdom, Spain, Cuba, Indonesia, the Philippines, Argentina, Romania, Australia, New Zealand, India, Brazil and the United States (primarily in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City). Many classic examples still exist in the form of architecture in many major cities. The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, both in New York City, are two of the largest and best-known examples of the style.
I have MANY art deco buttons available@Pegs Buttons
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
ART STYLE: Machine Art (New Realism) (1917-1935)
Machine Art was a form of curvilinear Cubism, dependent on the dynamic shapes of machinery and their geometric bases: cones, cylinders,cogged wheels, pistons, and brilliant metallic surfaces. It celebrated industry and mechanization with motifs inspired by machine parts, gears, chains, tooling, valves, nuts and bolts. The major proponent was Fernand Leger.
The large, chunky jewelry so popular in the early 1930's reflected a widespread obsession with machinery: exposed screw-heads, chrome ball-bearings, jagged-toothed cogs, and so on, were used to trim jewelry. BUTTONS of the era also showed the same pre-occupation with metal-trim, machinery, and heavy, solid shapes. Wood, bakelite, and celluloid, sometimes trimmed with chrome, were the usual materials for these Machine-Art inspired buttons.
This black glass with silver luster button is pictured along with the above article in the book "About Buttons" by Peggy Ann Osborne
Button (which is brighter than picture shows)available under the black glass category@Pegs Buttons
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Today March 17th is the birth date of Kate G.
Kate Greenaway..English artist and writer, 1846-1901. Many of Kate Greenaway's illustrations were copied by button designers.
Here are 2 of my cards of my K.G. buttons. Below those are a few K.G. typicals.
If you click on the pictures they will enlarge.
Materials of above buttons, brass, flat steel, pearl, black glass, ceramic, & 1 Ben Lang..all are antique or vintage.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
6 are metal, 3 are antique buttons and 3 are vintage. 1 blue with white design is a vintage studio ceramic button, 1 (girl on fence.."Miss Patty") is vintage enamel studio button and the other 7 are plastic, vintage studio Ben Lang buttons, he hand drew the design and embedded in liquid resin.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
JUNQUE DECO BUTTONS
Modern habitat buttons were marketed under the name JUNQUE DECO in the late 1980's. Many miscellaneous little items are enclosed under plastic covers. The buttons have a metal base with loop shank. This button has a seahorse, beads, star and coin type object.
Available under the metal category@Pegs Buttons
Friday, March 5, 2010
The first picture is a button and a piece of pyrite, they are from a button collection I acquired years old. The collector had the 2 on a small card and had written MARCASITE and on the back of the card she wrote "Iron pyrite mineral from which marcasites were faceted. Never rusts and has a yellow hue with age."
Looking closely at the button, it is brass with RIVETED cut steels not marcasites (see number 5 below)
The other picture is a brooch pin with 4 marcasites.
The below information is from Jocelyn Howells newest book..thank you Jocelyn for letting me use it.
MARCASITE was first used in the 18th C. to imitate diamonds
1. Trade name for pyrite, an iron mineral with brilliant luster.
2. Does not respond to a magnet nor does it rust, as do cut steels.
3. Pyrite crystals lend themselves to cutting and faceting and were used to decorate jewelry as well as buttons.
4. The visual difference between marcasite and cut steel can be characterized as: "Cut steel shines, but marcasite SPARKLES."
5. Marcasite was always set in metal, usually silver, sometimes pewter, and not riveted as cut steel was.
6. It was used with jewels (or glass) and set in "cups" to form designs, very rarely set with prongs.
7. BUTTONS EMBELLISHED WITH MARCASITE ARE RARE
Jocelyn Howells latest book (published in 2006) "BUTTON MATERIALS A-Z: Identification Guide" can be purchased from her site at
copy and paste the link or
CLICK on Button Book
I love this book..if you are a button collector this is a wonderful MUST HAVE BOOK, Peg
Sunday, February 21, 2010
A legend of the Daisy flower.
The Daisy has long been a favorite in love stories-most of us recite-"One I love, two I love, three I love I say"-etc.
They say "Daisies never Tell". This emblem of fidelity is said to have sprung from the tears of the Virgin Mary.
The antique button is brass with ivoroid design..available as are many other flower buttons @Pegs Buttons
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime.
Button is one piece hallmarked silver..not for sale.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
LEGEND OF RED ROSE
Venus was a beautiful Goddess, gracious and charming. She symbolized love between man and woman. Her altar was always heaped with roses, which were her favorite flower. Venus had many lovers, among them a shepherd boy named Adonis. When he lay dying of the wounds inflicted by a wild boar, Venus ran to his aid and in her haste, pricked herself on some white roses that were in her way. They were so ashamed because they hurt her that they turned red. Thus, the red rose has been the symbol of lovers the world over.
I am not sure if the button is antique or vintage, it is one piece silver colored metal with a longer loop shank..NICER & BRIGHTER than my picture shows..available under the PLANT LIFE category @ Pegs Buttons
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Valentine's Day or Saint Valentine's Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14 by many people throughout the world. In the English-speaking countries, it is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery. The holiday is named after two Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Goeffrey Chaucer in the High Middle ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of "valentines". Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged CUPID. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
from Wikipedia encyclopedia
I have the above buttons and some others for sale under the Holiday category @ Pegs Buttons
Friday, January 29, 2010
Queen Victoria was born in 1819, she became queen in 1837 at the young age of 18. In 1840, she married her first cousin, Prince Albert. They had 9 children together. Their marriage life was ideally perfect, but the bright and happy years were doomed to a tragic ending. His untimely death (after a sudden illness) in 1861, just months after the death of her mother, left her devastated and she went into a deep mourning that would last for the rest of her life.
She took to wearing black jet buttons on her somber black costumes, a habit her subjects and others around the world took to. The scarce supply of true jet brought about its imitation..BLACK GLASS.
Sometimes you find antique/vintage cards of black glass buttons which are labeled JET..they are NOT..jet refers to the color as these are black glass.
"The Victorian Era" 1837-1901..Queen Victoria died in 1901
I have a variety of black glass buttons for sale under the black glass category @ Pegs Buttons
Monday, January 25, 2010
The most famous bell in the U.S. is the Liberty Bell. It was cast in England and brought to America in 1752. It weighs 2000 pounds. During its first trial it cracked. It was recast in Philadelphia, but cracked again when it was used. A second recasting was necessary. It was hung and rang to peal out the beginning of our new nation on July 8, 1776.
When the first chief justice of the Supreme Count died in 1835, Liberty Bell was rung again, but it cracked once more and could not be recast. In preparation for the centennial of the U.S. in 1875, a replica weighting 13,000 pounds was cast and then hung in the tower of Independence Hall. With its large crack it can now be seen on a pedestal on the first floor of the Hall.
The vintage Liberty Bell buttons(above)2 brass,1 plastic are available under mixed materials @ Pegs Buttons