You might think that the button was first introduced to fasten a garment? Not so… buttons made their debut over 3,000 years ago and they were used for decoration, like a brooche, but sewn on clothing articles. The earliest buttons were made of wood, shells, bone and metals.
It was later, around 1200 AD, when clothing became a bit more form fitting, that the buttonhole was introduced and the button actually became
a fastener. They were still considered “jewelry” and for many the more buttons, the better! Buttons were often tiny works of art… carved, painted, covered and while the button ornament varied greatly, most were mounted on a shank, versus the 2 or 4 holes we often see these days. In 1250, the French established a Button Makers Guild… this Guild produced great, artistic buttons!
Fast forward to modern times… buttons come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, are made from a wide variety of materials, they attach with shanks or holes and must compete with zippers, vel-cro and such. Accelerated by the Industrial Revolution, most are mass produced and purely functional, but there are still those who love a great button! There are button museums, guilds, clubs and lots of button collectors!
I appreciate a great button every once in a while… just take an ordinary sweater or coat and add a gorgeous button and you completely change the look! I have a lovely coat, that actually receives many compliments because it’s pretty unique, but I wanted to be able to button it a little higher than the original design because I wanted to keep my neck warm, without a scarf, on cold winter days. I made a fine silver wax seal shank button to fasten the coat around the neck (function) and voila! Function meets fashion and the compliments have increased tenfold! I did the same with an ordinary open cardigan sweater… it had no buttons but I wanted to be able to close it…
I made another wax seal shank button and added a loop to the sweater
turning the ordinary into extraordinary and saving the sweater from becoming a donation!
Are you interested in a special, collectible fine silver wax seal shank button? Peruse my wax seal necklaces and if you find one that you just love, let me know! I’m happy to make an extraordinary button for you!
Curious about cost? Alas, a fine silver button is costly… it would cost the same as the necklace you choose.
Do contact me: suegrayjewelry.com or suegrayjewelry.etsy.com