Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ART STYLE: Machine Art Button

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

Kate Greenaway Buttons

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

Kate Greenaway BUTTONS

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

Kate Greenaway typical BUTTONS

Here are a few K.G. typicals which means they have never been found in any of K.G's books or cards. The two blue with white designs are vintage studio ceramic, the other 3 are antique, brass buttons.

Friday, March 12, 2010


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

MARCASITE button and brooch pin

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.

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

Button Book

I love this book..if you are a button collector this is a wonderful MUST HAVE BOOK, Peg