The Button Jar

I finally have a little time, so I decided to catch up my blog followers. This year has begun on a sprint and has not slowed down yet. I guess that is a good thing. As I wrote about in an older post, I collect vintage buttons. I prefer the 1800s – early 1900 glass and metal. Why? Because they were so decorative and ornate.

I began selling my “excess” buttons in October on my Sora Creations shop. I was apprehensive at first as to whether there was a market for vintage buttons. Boy, was I wrong.  I started with a few sales and now I have several every week. I get my inventory from antique fairs, swap meets and auctions. I have had to learn a lot about buttons and read many different books. I invested in a few tools to help restore them and identify them. I even where a magnifying glass around my neck when I go to fairs.  I am getting better in looking at a button and approximating its year and material.

I amazed my husband, who at first was skeptical to the selling of buttons. He laughs and is amused when I start rattling off shank type, material and possible age of the button. In addition, to identifying buttons, I am learning history. Many buttons were created at specific times or eras, therefore, they indicate the culture and historical significance of that time.

It is amazing to see a button and find out that it was worn during a mourning period, in which every relative of the deceased would actually switch out all their buttons. Another interesting fact is that paisley buttons were actually popular in the Victorian era despite it being a fertility symbol.

It has become to where I am in anticipation of every new delivery of buttons. My teenage son has now taken an interest in looking at the buttons and loves to sit and help me clean them. This has sparked his interest in his coin collection and he now takes care of his coins cleaning them and placing them in protective packages.

Every day that I delve in my buttons is like a day at the archeological dig, sifting through dirt to find that treasure. I have found an activity that I love and that can be a business.



Steel Backing with Enamel Cattails
Late 1800s – Early 1900s



Steel Buttons with Brass Flowers
Late 1800s



Celluloid with brass edge and steel back



Victorian Buttons



Commemorative Button of the
The Spirit of St. Louis flight



Brass cup with Cupid on Swing – Picture Button
Late 1800s – Early 1900s


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