Avis Yuni Antiques & Collectibles

Manufacturer: Victorian Buttons
This is an interesting pair of matching buttons in a different design style, which were obtained from a home . We are not button experts and will do our best to describe these as we see them.

Large round buttons with a shank back, measuring about 1 3/16 inches in diameter (we've shown them with a quarter for size comparison in one image). While a large size, these buttons are lightweight, each weighing about 2/10ths of an ounce unpacked.

We would describe these are being a multi-layer button, with two different pieces joined together and perhaps three layers to the topside decor. Circling the outer edge on the topside is a 3-dimensional open work or cut out type floral & leaf design in a black color. This sits or is affixed on top of an overall background piece, also black in color, which has a very fine thin line cross-hatching to it giving it an overall sheen look. Finally, on the topside are a number of little ornamental decor pieces. These are multi-colored, in red, purple, pink, clear, blue, etc. As best we can tell on very close examination with a loupe, these ornaments are not pasted on top of the background piece, but are pushed through it. It looks like appropriately shaped holes were cut into the background piece so it would fit over and around each of these multi-color ornaments, so they must be affixed to an underlying piece. Net, we think this topside decor consists of three layers (the ornaments, cross-hatch background which sits around them, and the open work outer edge decor which is on top of the background). Separately, if you look at these buttons from the side, you can tell that the entire topside of the button is a separate piece that is crimped or otherwise held onto the backside part which has the protruding shank.

These antique buttons appear to be made of at least two materials, if not three. A magnet sticks to the top outer cut work design, the back and the sides of these buttons, so some sort of metal has been used here. However, the multi-color ornaments are not metal. We can't tell what they are made of for certain. They could be glass, or perhaps some sort of colored celluloid material, we're not sure. Our guess would be glass, but we can't guarantee that. With the thin lined cross-hatch background, there is the possibility that this could also be made from something other than metal. When we look at this it seems to us more like a celluloid surface than a metal surface. Given the metal piece along the outer edge, we can't get a magnet into this space to test if just this background area is metal or not. So these buttons appear to be made of at least two materials, and perhaps three materials.

We are uncertain of the exact age of these buttons, but they are definitely not new. From the style, design, and overall look, we think they are Victorian or early 1900s. It is possible that these are "Mourning Buttons" from some information we've read, but we are not certain. They are definitely vintage buttons, and we think they are antique buttons. There is no indication of manufacturer or country of origin on these buttons.

There are 8 images shot at differing angles since the camera flash created such strong light intensity and white "hot spot" reflections. While the camera lighting allows you to get a better detailed view of the design and condition, you can see how the "hot spots" move across the images. In person, these buttons have a more muted look than what the camera lighting creates in the images. While you can see the ornament pieces have color in normal light, they don't appear as vividly colorful as they do when highlighted by the camera light. Depending on how you use or display these, you may notice only some of the color to the ornament pieces ( in normal light the colors are there, but just don't "pop" in intensity as they do in the images). Image #3 was shot in normal room lighting but without the camera light to provide a sense of this. Please use the zoom feature to examine closely.

Very nice overall condition but they do show age & use wear. There are no chips, cracks, crazing, pieces missing that we see. It appears that about half of the cross-hatch background area is lighter or whiter than the other half. This is hard to see in the images due to the camera lighting, but you can get some idea. It's interesting that this occurs similarly on both buttons so perhaps this is intentional, but we think this is some sort of localized fading or wear that has done this. We don't know what caused this (wear, spill, or exposure), and you will see this differentiated lighter background color in person with normal eyes depending on the angle you hold or display them (due to the sheen of the background piece itself). Overall the rest of the topside decor areas seem to be in very good shape. On close inspection you can see that the metal open work is not solid black in color but has a brass color type metal highlighting to it. We think this is as made, that a black paint wash was applied on top of the metal permitting brass or metal colored highlights to show. On the side edges of the buttons, however, you can see a mottled black and metal base look that we think is due to years of wear to what was originally painted fully black. The topside surfaces likely have other slight general age/surface wear, but nothing that jumps out with normal eyes or is bad. The metal shanks on the backside look good. The black metal rounded surfaces on the backside show a bit of expected wear but nothing bad at all.

We have other buttons listed for sale. Should you be interested in more than one, please contact us prior to inputting the order. The system has been set up to calculate shipping for each individual listing and will not provide you with the savings you would get by shipping more than one listing in the same package. We would be pleased to provide that for you.

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