Button collections exhibited at HD SOUTH | New


BUttons become valuable collector’s items when they are attached to history or a family story.

And that story and those stories are on display as the Arizona State Button Society presents a collection of antique / vintage buttons at HD South, home of the Gilbert Historical Museum, through November 19.

The exhibit features a variety, such as Victorian jewelry fabric and military buttons.

Members will trade or sell antique buttons in the museum courtyard from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on November 6.

“These are mini works of art, in some cases they have been passed down and cherished by other family members,” said Michele Fox, president of the Chandler company.

“There are a lot of fascinating stories about buttons and the history of buttons, there are always new things to be learned as they were made from so many different materials and used on all clothing before zippers. zipper and velcro, ”she added.

The crown corporation has five active button collecting umbrella clubs. The total number of members is currently around 60. Dues are $ 10 per year for adults and $ 2 for youth and members receive a newsletter three times a year with articles, photos, project topics and historical research.

Often times people inherit collections from family members or stumble upon the hobby.

Vicky Mayhall, president of the East Valley Saguaro Club, was an antique dealer who stumbled upon the hobby.

“I used to sell to independent stores every now and then… and I became friends with a woman who once asked me to look for buttons and I thought she was crazy,” Mayhall said. “I started to find them, and the more I manipulated them, the more I realized how connected they were to so many things.”

“I found myself keeping some nice guys to myself and found out through a book that there were button collectors and they were competing with those buttons and they categorized buttons so I became member of the National Button Society and I discovered my buttons and I found the Arizona State Button Society, ”she said.

Fox inherited his collection from his mother in Indiana, who in turn inherited his mother’s collection. The buttons date from the 1920s and 1930s, and the collection numbers approximately 6,000.

His button purchase is dictated by upcoming competitions. A large part of the hobby is preparing and presenting sets at competitions.

For 2022, she is working on seven competition boards, including one on the theme of copper buttons. Each tray contains 25 buttons; that is why she is looking for several others.

“Even if you take a few types of buttons and decide they are your favorites and want to collect them, there is so much to learn about different materials, eras, eras and who made them,” he said. she declared. “Matter and history interact together.

Mayhall has a “bewildering” number of buttons.

“Because I had an background in antiques, I fell in love with the idea of ​​a miniature type of antique and, I thought, it would be small and wouldn’t take up a lot of space,” he said. she declared. “They’re everywhere and it’s easy to accumulate a lot of them if you find someone’s old button box from her great-grandmother. Then all of a sudden you have hundreds and hundreds of buttons in a little container. It may start to take over, depending on how many you have.

After the industrial revolution, buttons ceased to be hand-made and were made by machine.

Mayhall has buttons made in the 1400s through to those sold at an East Valley sewing store.

It’s also difficult to rate a collection because the buttons are subjective, collectors said. A good button costs $ 20 and the average antique button costs between $ 20 and $ 100.

“There are some that are rare and will always bring in a lot of money, but it’s like anything – everything is only worth what someone is willing to pay and if someone wants something. bad enough, it can pay a lot or pay too much for a button, ”Mayhall said.

The Saguaro Club meets monthly in Mesa and is look for more members.

“We hope others are interested and would like to know what the fascination with buttons is,” Mayhall said. “Everyone is always welcome to come to a meeting and bring what they have… and we’ll tell them about it.”

Details: hdsouth.org. Arizona State Button Society is on Facebook at facebook.com/ArizonaStateButtonSociety. Write to the group at [email protected]

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