25th January 2023

Buttons & Sundries

I recently purchased a book of the above title, written by Vittoria de Buzzaccarini and Isabella Zotti Minici in 1990. It has been translated from Italian, which leads to odd sentences at times, but also gives a differing perspective to the intersecting histories of fashion and buttons. As a result, I have been able to add a bit of history under ‘Italy’ on the Wide World of Button Manufacturers page. http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/its-un-australian/the-wide-world-of-manufacturers/#ITALY

The authors also mentioned a couple of button museums/collections that sound wonderful.

Rothschild Collection, Buckinghamshire, England.

Adelheid, Baroness Edmond de Rothschild (1853-1935) and her husband were great collectors. The collections were bequeathed to the children.One of these, James,  bequeathed Waddesdon Manor to the National Trust in 1957 where there are held a number of collections relating to costume.


The Button Museum, Santarcangelo, Romagna, Italy.

Opened in 2008, it contains a collection of 14,000 buttons from the 17th century onwards.



German Button Museum, Bärnau. https://us.dill-buttons.com/knopfstadt-baernau


There are, or have been, button displays at these museums also, although I could not directly access the collections to confirm these:

Musée Carnavalet, Paris: French Revolution buttons: https://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/musee-carnavalet

Musee Ile de France, St. jean-Cap Ferrat also at the Musee de Normandie in Caen, Louis XV buttons: https://www.placesinfrance.com/musee_ile_de_france.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_Museum

Cooperhewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York. https://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/musee-carnavalet

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Holds the Luckock Collection of buttons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Luckcock

Fashion Museum, Bath. Apparently now moving to new buildings. https://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/

Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels, Belgium. French and English buttons. https://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/

Museum of Costume and fashion, Florence. Interesting buttons on the costumes. https://www.uffizi.it/en/pitti-palace/costume-and-fashion-museum

Museum of Palazzo Mocengio, Venice Italy. https://mocenigo.visitmuve.it/en/home/


These button shops were mentioned as worth a visit. Unfortunately, ‘Tender Buttons’, New York, closed in 2019.

The Button Queen,UK.

This store has been selling collectable buttons since 1950, particularly Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. They were located in London, but are mainly online now.


Tender Buttons, New York.

Opened in 1965 by Diana Epstein, joined by Millicent Safro. A tiny treasure trove, sadly gone.


La Drouguerie, Paris.

A popular store since 1975 for discerning shoppers of fabrics and haberdashery. be prepared for a long wait to be individually served.



Vintage Delirium, Milan.

Established in 1985, Franco Jacassi’s boutique is a cross between a museum and a boutique of vintage fashion. His favourite types include “material buttons of coloured silk interwoven with gold thread, and those of opalescent coloured glass paste and hand painted, which were produced in Czechoslovakia and ermany during the Twenties”, also the “industrial plastic of the Fifties – the Italian button par excellence “.



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