The design of each unique handmade jewelry, from our Victorian necklaces to our fabulous vintage bracelets, starts with the button’s characteristics; color, size and pattern or picture and, based on those characteristics, is beaded with gemstones (onyx, agate, quartz, turquoise, jasper, jade, moonstone, coral, or opal) and/or fresh water pearls. The custom jewelry piece is handcrafted for the discriminating, sophisticated buyer who is searching for a special, collectible, work of art that can be worn.
When you see these beautiful works of art you will certainly be grateful that they have been rescued from the obscurity of an antique button box to a place of honor – truly ornaments of inestimable interest and beauty. Our antique vintage jewelry also makes great gifts for Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day!
History of Buttons
More than any other collectible, an antique button tells the story of history. Originally made as decorations, not as clothing fasteners, the first buttons can be traced as far back as 4000 years ago. Although relatively few buttons are much over two hundred years old, the techniques used to cut, mold and decorate them had beginnings before the time of recorded history.
For a long time buttons were a status symbol and men competed to see who could have the best, the largest or the most intricate buttons. They were used by the nobility and made of silver and gold. Buttons were made with exquisite paintings on them. They were carved, inlaid, stamped and covered. Craftsmen were hired just to make buttons.
Every Button Tells A Story
The pictures and motifs used in antique button designs record the inventions of each generation, the historical and political events of the day, operas, fairy tales, mythology, the existing economic conditions as well as scenes of rural and city life. Buttons are made of glass, metal, semi-precious and precious jewels, pearl, celluloid, Bakelite, porcelain, wood, ivory, animal antler and bone, scrimshaw, papier-mâché, and even nuts.
A Piece Of European History
Europe furnished most of the buttons until almost the 19th century, but there is evidence that a few were made in the U.S. in homes, as early as 1706. Certainly, by the first quarter of the 19th century, buttons were being manufactured everywhere, each country using its natural resources and its own artists and craftsmen. Much work and material went into the design and making of buttons, so they were often saved from worn-out clothing to be used and reused. Now, I use an antique button as the start of each piece of Victorian jewelry I make; you are not only getting gorgeous jewelry—you are getting a piece of history.
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