Sunday, December 11, 2011

On the third day of Christmas... true love gave to me
three picture buttons *...

These really were Christmas presents to me from a friend who had purchased them at Tender Buttons in New York City in the early '90's.  They are vintage buttons referred to as "pictorial".  The trumpeter is a depiction from a scene from the German poem The Trumpeter of Sackingen (Der Trompeter von Sackingen), written in 1885 by J. Viktor von Scheffel.

 What about the two cupids at the wall?  Are they escaping after wrestling Pan or spending a day with Venus?  And the pheasants look like they were taken right from an Audubon lithograph.

The last time I bought a "picture button" or pseudo picture button, it was a Beatrix Potter character's image applied to the surface of plastic.  I had selected them to use on clothing I was making at the time for my own children.

Pictorial buttons just aren't ordinary.  I make this statement based on the claim of purchasing buttons at estate sales and never finding one after carefully searching the contents of the dusty jars and tins.  I have certainly found many strange objects placed in the button box for safe keeping, but not a treasure of this magnitude.  I've even found some VERY UGLY buttons.  I'm guessing hiding them and not allowing them to see the light of day was a wise move.

*Now to the disclaimer.  While I love buttons, I am known to procrastinate in sewing them back onto clothing.  Maybe it is fair to say I can admire them from afar without the need to sew them onto to anything.  Let this be a warning to my family when they come home for the holidays!

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