19th December 2021

Button Collecting part 2

Although the founding of the National Button Society in the USA during 1938 may have been the start of formalised club-based button collecting, button collecting has probably existed for as long there have been buttons! After all, buttons, as we know them now, have been around since the 13th century; for much of that history they were saved for re-use, even bequeathed if valuable.

In a newspaper article from 1888  was the phrase “during the button collecting craze in America”, stating the craze was a past occurrence. It may have referred to this craze for collecting military buttons around 1885:

The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW), 27th June 1885 page 1364.

Or perhaps this referred to the hobby of assembling a ‘charm string’ of buttons, which dated from the 1860s until around 1900.

This tip was printed in various newspapers during 1947-1953.

Some individuals collected uniform buttons and buttons worn by famous people.

Nepean Times (NSW), 29th April 1899, page 7.

Wellington Times (NSW), 30th January 1936, page 3. I think someone got conned: Charlemage lived from 748-814. He was renown for wearing simple, button free Frankish clothing, although he did have a jewelled brooch. However, there is a famous picture button called “Charlemange and the Warning Angel”.

This article explains how a gentleman became an accidental collector filling in spare time during the war …

The Macleay Chronicle (NSW), 24th May 1950 page 6.