5 Fascinating Antique Button Trivia Bits

assorted antique buttons

Antique buttons are often amazing miniature pieces of art. I’ve seen everything from wishing wells, palm trees, and pyramids to spiders, peacocks, and scorpions carved or stamped into buttons. Buttons have represented storybooks, position in society, military rank . . . I could go on and on (obviously I find this fascinating!) but I’ll stop and leave you with 5 fun button trivia tidbits.

  • The word button originated from the French word "bouton" which means bud or knob.
  • Originally, buttons were only decorative. The Crusaders introduced the button hole to Europe, giving buttons a new functional role.
  • In 1520 King Francis I of France had 13,600 gold buttons attached to his costume to meet King Henry VIII of England who was similarly clad!
  • Buttons were primarily used to fasten men’s clothing until the mid-1800’s.
  • In the early 1800’s young girls collected buttons on “charm strings.” Legend said once a girl collected 1,000 buttons on her string, Prince Charming would come to claim her as his bride.

See pieces of jewelry I’ve created using these tiny intricate pieces of art here and larger button necklaces throughout my website here.

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