Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Merry & Happy Happy...pearl buttons

Bethlehem pearl vintage buttons
 these are much lighter in color than the image shows
click on image to enlarge

Monday, December 1, 2014

Kaleidoscope glass antique buttons

Kaleidoscope glass antique buttons they date 1840's-1870's
The essential parts of a kaleidoscope are a transparent glass “dome” with a colored pattern adhering to its flat base and a metal plate almost as large as the base of the dome with a loop or (rarely) a pinshank inserted. The loop shank does not enter the glass. Most kaleidoscopes measure small, a few are medium size. Most are round, a few are oval or shell-shape.
Many on my card show wear , click on image to enlarge

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Goofie sets and other early buttons

1st set real seashells embedded in probably polyester
Animal Head Set...acetate
outer 6 are bakelite
Dominoes Set..acetate
School Set.. casein
Music Set..bakelite
I found this interesting when I went to take a image of this card the music set had 2 buttons wrong side up, when I changed them I noticed the 2 (1st and 4th) buttons are so much lighter in color than the others my thought was the card had been exposed to sunlight as the previous owner had the card in a frame and probably hanging on a wall.
So I asked Jocelyn Howells and here is her answer
“It's well known that Bakelite changes color with time.  It's the phenolic resin in the ingredients that is naturally orangish and dominates all other colors.  Oxidation has been stated as the cause, but no doubt sunlight figures into it as well, or maybe sunlight speeds up the oxidation process.  I have a salesman's original card of bakelite buttons with each button labeled with its color.  Very interesting to see what the original color was, and what it is today.  Of course, there is no way to know whether that card was exposed to the light during its lifetime, or stored away in darkness.  So I tend to think that it is exposure to oxygen, causing some of the phenolic resin to "leach" to the surface and change its color.  BTW, the surface of bakelite pieces can be polished down to the original color, which I understand has been done with lots of the bakelite jewelry.  But sooner or later, the color change occurs again, sometimes fairly quickly.”
Thanks to Jocelyn for this information and also helping me identify the technical terms of the plastics
Jocelyn is the author of three books about identifying button materials, including two on synthetic polymers exclusively, based on more than 10 years of intense research and study.  Read more at her website 
or contact her at 
Her books are a must have for button collectors

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Happy Halloween buttons my fun card

I try to add a couple buttons to this card each year, majority of the buttons are plastic
Happy Halloween, Peg
click on image to enlarge

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

National Park Service uniform buttons

Any account of the National Park Service must begin with the parks that preceded it and prompted its creation.
The national park concept is generally credited to the artist George Catlin. On a trip to the Dakotas in 1832, he worried about the impact of America's westward expansion on Indian civilization, wildlife, and wilderness. They might be preserved, he wrote, "by some great protecting policy of government... in a magnificent park.... A nation's park, containing man and beast, in all the wild and freshness of their nature's beauty!"
Catlin's vision was partly realized in 1864, when Congress donated Yosemite Valley to California for preservation as a state park. Eight years later, in 1872, Congress reserved the spectacular Yellowstone country in the Wyoming and Montana territories "as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people." With no state government there yet to receive and manage it, Yellowstone remained in the custody of the U.S. Department of the Interior as a national park-the world's first area so designated.
Congress followed the Yellowstone precedent with other national parks in the 1890s and early 1900s, including Sequoia, Yosemite (to which California returned Yosemite Valley), Mount Rainier, Crater Lake, and Glacier. The idealistic impulse to preserve nature was often joined by the pragmatic desire to promote tourism: western railroads lobbied for many of the early parks and built grand rustic hotels in them to boost their passenger business.
The late nineteenth century also saw growing interest in preserving prehistoric Indian ruins and artifacts on the public lands. Congress first moved to protect such a feature, Arizona's Casa Grande Ruin, in 1889. In 1906 it created Mesa Verde National Park, containing dramatic cliff dwellings in southwestern Colorado, and passed the Antiquities Act authorizing presidents to set aside "historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest" in federal custody as national monuments. Theodore Roosevelt used the act to proclaim 18 national monuments before he left the presidency. They included not only cultural features like El Morro, New Mexico, site of prehistoric petroglyphs and historic inscriptions, but natural features like Arizona's Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon. Congress later converted many of these natural monuments to national parks.
By 1916 the Interior Department was responsible for 14 national parks and 21 national monuments but had no organization to manage them. Interior secretaries had asked the Army to detail troops to Yellowstone and the California parks for this purpose. There military engineers and cavalrymen developed park roads and buildings, enforced regulations against hunting, grazing, timber cutting, and vandalism, and did their best to serve the visiting public. Civilian appointees superintended the other parks, while the monuments received minimal custody. In the absence of an effective central administration, those in charge operated without coordinated supervision or policy guidance.
The antique buttons are brass, click on image to enlarge

Monday, September 8, 2014

U S Indian Service and U S Forest Service uniform buttons

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the U.S. Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of 55,700,000 acres of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American Tribes and Alaska Natives.The Bureau of Indian Affairs is one of two bureaus under the jurisdiction of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs: the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education, which provides education services to approximately 48,000 Native Americans.
The BIA’s responsibilities once included providing health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives. In 1954 that function was legislatively transferred to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, now known as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where it has remained to this day as the Indian Health Service
These were the buttons worn by the uniformed services of Indian Reservations such as Agents, Medical personnel, and Police 

Forest Service Buttons, first 2 are vegetable Ivory others are brass

Starting in 1876, and undergoing a series of name changes, the U.S. Forest Service grew to protect and utilize millions of acres of forest on public land. Gifford Pinchot, an early advocate of scientific forestry, along with President Theodore Roosevelt and conservation organizations, led the effort to manage forest for the public good.
Click on image to enlarge

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ethiopian woman’s head button or Hawaiian Queen Lydia L.

Ethiopian woman’s head button (this is according to the Big Book of Buttons) but I've also heard her called Hawaiian Queen, Lydia Liliuokalani
 Molded black glass, set with 2 brilliants and cemented to a flat, milk glass background the button is large size, antique and has a metal rosette shank
 I have found NEW information in the May 1997 issue of the National Button Society Bulletin the above image is called "The Blackamoor" and can be used as a fable button
“The button familiar to us as “The Blackamoor” can now be used with fable buttons. The fable is The AEthiop, page 91 in the AEsop Fable Collection. It goes as follows:
The purchaser of a black servant was persuaded that the color of his skin arose from dirt contacted through the neglect of his former masters. On bringing him home, he resorted to every means of cleaning, and subjected the man to incessant scrubbings. The servant caught a severe cold, but he never changed his color or complexion.
Moral: What’s bred in the bone will stick to the flesh”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Porridge Time button

This antique button is called “Porridge Time”
 Stamped brass applied to a flat, textured brass back, with applied steel star. The button also comes without the star, with the star it is a scarce button
click on image to enlarge

Friday, August 8, 2014

Jasperware buttons: Marie La Barre-Bennett

Marie La Barre-Bennett, studio button artist
She first made buttons in 1953. She had been a button collector since 1943.
 She used many colors: lavender, green, brown, red, black and white.
 All of her molds were destroyed after her death in 1969
click on image to enlarge

Friday, August 1, 2014

"The Little Colonel" button

The figure is of silvered brass and is applied to a flat lacquered brass button with engraved wall and archway,etc.
Annie Fellows Johnston (1863-1931), a celebrated author of children's and juvenile fiction from the 1890's until her death in 1931, is best known for her "Little Colonel" (1895) series, a semi biographical opus of 13 novels dealing with the aristocracy of old Kentucky, particularly the story of a young girl, who came to be known as "The Little Colonel." (The little girl was based upon a real child the author met while on a  visit to Kentucky) Her works sold millions of copies, and were translated into over 40 languages, including Japanese.  
The fame of The Little Colonel peaked in 1935 with the film of the same name starring Shirley Temple & Lionel Barrymore.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

U.S. Post Office BUTTONS through the ages

this card was in a collection I acquired, the top left button doesn’t belong on here as it’s a Telegraph Co. button, the top right button this device (image) was adopted as the Seal of the U.S. Post Office in 1837.
 All the buttons are brass
The story of the United States Postal Service begins in 1775, when the Continental Congress named
Benjamin Franklin the first American Postmaster General. Franklin and his fellow patriots saw a robust
mail system as critical to the nation’s welfare. A healthy postal network facilitated communication among
army commanders and the first elected representatives, and representatives and their constituents;
newspapers sent through the mail enabled Americans to participate in political life. As directed by
Congress, postal officials first extended the mail system geographically, adding mail routes and Post
Offices to embrace communities up and down the coast and then westward, keeping pace with the
traveling frontier. In the mid-1800s, Congress increased access to the mail by simplifying and lowering
letter-postage rates. Later in the century, Congress introduced the convenience that most Americans
now expect – free home delivery of mail, first in the city, then in the country. To check for mail, city
dwellers no longer had to wait in long lines at crowded Post Offices, and farmers no longer had to unhitch
horse from plow and plod five or six miles into town. In 1913, the Post Office Department introduced
Parcel Post – affordable parcel delivery available to all Americans that opened up a new world of mail
order merchandise to many, especially in rural areas
(above information taken from the U.S.P.S. site
click on image to enlarge

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Garter/ Flapper buttons

First 2 are real Garter buttons from the 20’s
The faces are printed on silk which is stretched over a metal form fitted with a pad shank for sewing. The buttons were used to decorate the fancy garters for ladies silk stockings.
Second 2 are vintage and made by studio artists
Last 2 are modern laser cut plastic buttons 
Click on image to enlarge

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Friday, June 6, 2014

Steel Cup Buttons

These steel cup buttons are all constructed the same way, only the trims inside the cups differ.
 The button itself is a shallow steel cup with a raised rim. A U-shaped steel loop shank is soldered to the back and the various trims are usually riveted in place. 
 On this card of mine the buttons are all medium or large size,  1 inch to 1 3/8
They are from the late 19th century
Click on image to enlarge

Monday, May 5, 2014

Owl buttons

Owl buttons
This is my 3rd place winning tray at National Button show several years ago, judges comments “Very close competition need more variety of materials”
Click on image to enlarge

Monday, April 14, 2014

Child Hugging a Dog and The Peaceable Kingdom..Buttons

When you see  these 2 buttons for sale they are often not correctly titled because they are so similar in design.
Both are antique brass buttons because my larger button shows the lion clearly its not so with the smaller size of the same button
In the Big Book of Buttons (under children) title of first button is  “Child Hugging a Dog”
The second button (under Religious subjects) title “The Peaceable Kingdom” the child is hugging a lion
click on image to enlarge

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jeanne Hachette French Heroine..button

Jeanne Laisne born 1456 was a French heroine known as Jeanne Fourquet and nicknamed Jeanne Hachette (Jean the Hatchet)
All that she is currently known for is an act of heroism on June 27 1472, when she prevented the capture of Beauvais by the troops of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. The town was defended by only 300 men-at-arms, commanded by Louis de Balagny.
The Burgundians were making an assault, and one of their members had actually planted a flag upon the battlements, when Jeanne, axe in hand, flung herself upon him, hurled him into the moat, tore down the flag, and revived the drooping courage of the garrison.
                   From Wikipedia
click on image to enlarge

Monday, March 24, 2014

Santa Domingo Pueblo Indian pottery button

This pottery button is stunning also notice the sterling 4 leaf clover and leaf buttons
click on image to enlarge

Thursday, February 27, 2014

State Seals and Motto's on Buttons

50 State Seals-click on image to enlarge  
The use of seals was brought to America from Europe by the colonists. These were the forerunners of the State Seals today.
Every one of our 50 states has an official seal and their devices are used by them on the uniform buttons of the State Militia. The Militia is the oldest service of our armed forces, going back to the very first year of the colonies.
     Most of the State Seals were adopted in the “Victorian Era”, as a glance at some elaborate designs will reveal. Many of the states obtained their seals only after a bitter debate and they can be altered only by law.  The state seal button device came with use some time after the adoption of the seal.
     Six states use the exact state seal device on their state seal buttons; some alter it somewhat but the seal is still recognizable. Three states do not use any part of the device of the state seal on their state seal buttons. They are Wyoming, South Carolina and Vermont.
     Greatly as State Seal buttons differ in appearance, a study reveals that they have many designs and ideas in common.
 16 quality as heraldic—a shield is the main design
one half show landscapes depicting the surrounding region,
one half give agriculture a place
one third show means of transportation—trains, covered wagons, ships, etc. 
                             Just Buttons magazine Mar-Apr 1978

Saturday, February 15, 2014

3 pairs ex. large brass antique pictorial buttons

Bellum and Pax, War and Peace. Bellum was a Roman adaptation of the Greek warrior goddess, Athena.
She is shown within a border of laurel and palm, both used to honor those victorious in war.
Pax, or Peace, has a sprig of wheat in her helmet and an olive wreath border, symbols of agriculture
click on image to enlarge


Friday, February 7, 2014

St. Valentine’s Day legends plus buttons

How did Valentine become the patron saint of lovers?
    According to one legend, in third-century Rome young men did not want to enlist in the army to fight the emperor’s wars. Claudius II ordered young men not to marry, believing if they did not have wives they would be more willing to leave Rome for the battlefield. Moved by compassion for the young men and their sweethearts, Valentine the priest married them secretly.
Why do valentine cards end “From Your Valentine”?
     Another legend claims that while Valentine the priest was imprisoned he met the blind daughter of his jailer. He offered prayers for her healing, and the girl’s sight was restored. A friendship was forged. On the night of his death he wrote the girl a farewell message and signed it “From your Valentine”
How did cupid come to be associated with St. Valentine’s Day Cards?
    Cupid, represented by a cherub armed with arrows dipped in a love potion, is a figure of Roman mythology. According to those legends, Cupid is the son of Venus, goddess of love and beauty.
Click on picture to enlarge
Happy Valentine's Day