Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Button Tin Joy!

At a party I recently talked with a long-time colleague of my husband's whom I hadn't seen for quite awhile.  When she heard about the necklaces she told me that her uncle had worked in a button factory back in the day in New York City, that he'd given her a tin of buttons and that she'd like to give it to me.  Indeed, she passed it on to me that very week.  It was the best - not only items that must have come from her uncle's factory but also the grand potpourri of things that turn up in an old button tin.

The tin itself was first-rate:  it once held Passover treats and bore the marks of tape that had once secured it with all those loose buttons inside.

Removing the lid revealed the stash:

a mix of the highly utilitarian with the more whimsical or elegant (note those lizard-skin leather coat buttons), colorful celluoid, a little Bakelite, glass.  Rhinestones!

 As in all good button tins there were some intriguing non-button items:

in particular here, a red mystery item, a celluloid Gibson guitar pick, a tiny heart-shaped padlock (no key), two toggles from old phonographs for switching between 78 and LP speeds, and - in an old envelope from Chemical Bank of New York - a handful of scatter pins in the shape of spectacles.
What a treat!

The black and ivory Bakelite accent buttons on this necklace come from the tin (not the buckle or central button):

Necklace #171,  Vintage plastic buckle with Bakelite buttons on polka-dot cotton bias tape.

I also recently restocked on covered button forms.

On necklace #172 the forms are covered with fabric - rayon, I think - from a Japanese furoshiki.  The print depicts some sort of game with sticks. puck-like circular objects, and these little mustachioed guys with the fierce brows (the background is a cotton Japanese bias tape).

For all the recent necklace photos, click