Button History

~19th Century

In the 1800s, changes in the daily social lives of the bourgeoisie followed the political changes in Europe and the Industrial Revolution. The clothing of the bourgeoisie became more practical, and the buttons were made of simple materials such as cloth, passementerie, or metals. The most popular colour was black. After the funeral of her husband in 1861, Queen Victoria loved to wear black jewellery, and this fashion became very popular in England and also in other European countries. Black buttons were made from many different materials including, pressed black glass, onyx, jet, ebony, and Japanese lacquer. Victorian people particularly liked buttons of lithograph featuring a portrait, and used romantic motifs such as hearts,angels and cupids. Children's scenes from the books of Kate Greenaway, a popular illustrator of the period, were also depicted on buttons. Such figurative buttons were referred to as "picture buttons". After 1840 or so, glass buttons were widely produced in Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Button Photo

Satsuma baked button

Next Page

  • [1]
  • [2]
  • [3]
  • [4]
  • [4]
  • [4]
  • [4]
  • [4]
  • [4]

Japanese