Paying a visit last week to my favorite local antique mall, I really wasn't even looking specifically for buttons, but this is what happens when you keep an open mind. I came across a booth that had 11 little cards of antique buttons on a table, in singles, doubles, and one card of triplets.
I stood there for quite a while inspecting them all, wondering which, if any (!) to purchase. Not only were they lovely, but they also were rather ridiculously inexpensive. How often do you come across that? I picked out 2 cards--the ones with tiny detailed scenes and left the rest behind.
Well, I'm sure you can guess what happened... I couldn't get them out of my mind, rationalizing the notion of buying them all. You know how that is. So, about 10 or 15 minutes and 1 1/2 aisles later I told my partner-in-crime (my mother, that is) that I wanted to go back and look at the buttons again, to which she replied, "Well, yes, of course, go on."
Managing to find the booth again (thank goodness the cards I had picked up had the booth number on them!), I gave them all a cursory second glance (probably more like the fourth glance) and swooped them all up, with no regrets.
Don't these brass ones have a pretty Art Nouveau design?
Most of them are pretty small and all are shank buttons, some self-shank and others with an inserted shank.
These next few sets are my favorites. I am enlarging the photos so you can see the miniature scenes more easily.
You can see the difference in the amount of wear on these two.
I think there is a mirror background on these next two. It can barely be seen on the right one, above the castle and through the gate opening.
Now, I am wondering if I should try to clean them. I know there are two schools of thought on this subject--some say it is more authentic to leave them be and others say they should be enjoyed and appreciated for their beauty, which will show better if cleaned up.
If anyone has an opinion on whether this is a good idea or not, please feel free to comment. If the consensus is towards cleaning, does anyone have any suggestions as to the proper method?
See the owls?