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Dating antique metal buttons

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The button—with Dating antique metal buttons self-contained roundness and infinite variability—has a quiet perfection to it. Running a cascade of buttons through your fingers feels satisfyingly heavy, like coins or candy; their clicking whoosh and blur of colors lull you. A button packs an extraordinary amount of information about a given time and place—its provenance—onto a crowded little canvas.

The earliest known button, writes Ian McNeil in An Encyclopedia of the History of Technology"was originally used more as an ornament than as a fastening, the earliest known being found at Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley [now Pakistan]. It is made of a curved shell and about years old. Along with brooches, buckles, and straight pins, buttons were used in ancient Rome as decorative closures for flowing garments. However, none of these options worked perfectly.

Pins poked unsightly holes into precious fabrics. Supporting yards of cloth at a single point required buttons of architectural heft, made of bone, horn, bronze or wood. Some designs took the functional pressure off buttons Dating antique metal buttons knotting the fabric securely into position, then topping off the look with a purely ornamental button.

Incidentally, as a button alternative, Mycenaeans of the Roman era invented the fibula, a surprisingly modern forerunner to our safety pin.

This design was Dating antique metal buttons with them until it re-emerged in mid th century America. The button became more prominent among the wealthy in the Middle Ages. The first button-makers guild formed in France in Still regarded as less-than-functional jewelry, buttons were so prized that sumptuary laws restricted their use.

Books, Banks, Buttons and Other Inventions from the Middle Ages by Chiara Frugoni relates how, in a period tale, a magistrate quizzed a woman overly bedecked in buttons.

The medieval period was the era when wearing lots of buttons meant big money. Along with ribbons, laces or bows, buttons were often used on detachable sleeves, a fad that ran from the 13th to 15th centuries.