Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Button Button - my first book about buttons!

When I started my button adventure, I had little idea of the immense variety of buttons, designs and materials there might be. I could date my original collection very easily, as the buttons were from an old haberdashery shop, opened circa 1958 and closed sometime between 1962 and 1963. So there is little doubt left about it. However, as I got interested in the early plastics and vegetable ivory, I decided to look for more precise information. That's how I encountered "Button Button" book.

It is not a new publication, as it was issued in 1993. As you can see, the pictures look really old, and what was new then, is already vintage today. ;) For example, 1970s buttons are referred to as modern.

It promises to answer some very important questions: What's it made from? Is it old? and What's is worth? Well, I would be wary of saying that the book address properly these issues. It does provide help when it comes to identifying the material. However, little is said about early plastics! You can admire incredible button in the pictures, but the explanation is scarce.

Bakelite buttons - really nice pieces, showing the variety of colours and style. However, no guide to Bakelite identification.

Glass buttons shanks - there is a guide to the terms and shapes, but very little information as to when each type of shank was used. So little help  with my antique buttons...
The best part of the purchase was acquiring new vocabulary about the buttons, which soon became useful as I started buying buttons and needed to be able to describe them precisely (like, silver buttons made of glass are called silver lustre). So in the end it was a fairly good introduction, though I had to dig the Internet for more specific information.

So, in other words, I'm still looking for the Button Bible...
Title: Button Button · · Identification and Price Guide
Author: Peggy Ann Osbourne
Published: 1993
ISBN: 0-88740-464-2

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