Autumn 2017 Auction! The Button as Super Hero

300 Fabulous Button Lots, as always, in our Autumn 2017 Seasonal Auction closing on November 18. Experience the Power of Buttons!

Heroic Mythology

From the strength of Atlas to the wiles of Cupid, buttons are found with every god and goddess under the sun. Here is a large 18th century en grisaille painting under glass depicting Atlas holding the celestial globe.

St. Joan

The intrepid heroine Joan of Arc is a popular subject on 19th and early 20th century buttons. Joan, a 15th century woman, helped France win several key battles as she, dressed in borrowed armor, fought right in the thick of it all. However, politics conspired against her and at age 19, she was burned at the stake. In 1909, the Catholic church officially awarded her Sainthood.

Dogs and Horses, Always Heroes

A brass dog has hold in its mouth the reins of the frightened-looking horse on this dark maroon casein button with ribbon rosette shaped border. Perhaps a real-life heroic story is behind this early 20th century design.

The True Hero

A large and scarce black horn button of the 19th century depicting “The Good Samaritan” giving aid to a man in need.

Hero of San Juan Hill

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, once gave a 90 minute campaign speech after he had been shot in the chest by a would-be assassin. Though the bullet lodged in his chest (where it remained the rest of his life), Roosevelt determined it had not reached his lung, and said to the audience “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.”

The Cowboy Hero

Tom Mix was an American film actor and the star of many early Western movies between 1909 and 1935. He was Hollywood’s first Western star and helped define the genre as it emerged in the early days of the cinema. Mix appeared in 291 films.

Uniform Heroes

The United States Life-Saving Service was a United States government agency that grew out of private and local humanitarian efforts to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners and passengers. It began in 1848 and ultimately merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to form the United States Coast Guard in 1915. Buttons from all branches of the military, service organizations, transportation companies, and many other uniform types are sought by collectors.

 

 

The Ordinary Hero

Celebrating the “ordinary button” (which is not so ordinary, its really quite extraordinary!) -the China Button, the utilitarian button of honor from the 1850s to the early 19th century. These little buttons, from calico patterns to whimsical stencils in all colors of the rainbow held together the everyday clothing of the everyday man, woman, and child, from the shirts, the dresses, the drawers and pantaloons, even down to the shoes.

Tom Mix’s Boot

This boot button was offered as a premium by the Ralston-Purina company in the 1930s to listeners and fans of their radio show about cowboy hero Tom Mix.

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