Vintage buttons are made out of a variety of interesting materials. One example is Bakelite. This is an early form of plastic used for things such as dominoes and Billiard balls during the 1920’s and 1940’s. To find out if your button may contain this material, use Formula 409 or Simichrome polish. In addition to the aforementioned Bakelite, celluloid, casein, and Lucite also existed during the time periods Bakelite was discovered.
Mother of Pear is the iridescent inner layer of a mollusk’s shell. Large, carved buttons found on coats and jackets most likely contain this valuable material. Additional materials you might also see include glass, wood, vegetable ivory, rubber, leather, metal, and china.
Buttons shaped like realistic items such as flowers, faces, and animals are called figurals or realistics. There are numerous collectors for these types of vintage buttons, whichever material they are made from. The attraction is that the … Read More