Come into the world of buttons, a garden of delight, brimming with secrets and treasures, history and stories, artistry and color . . .
A delightful Kate Greenaway inspired Victorian era brass picture button!
Interest in the language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, soared in Victorian England and in the U.S. during the 19th C. Gifts of blooms, plants, and specific floral arrangements were used to send a coded message to the recipient, allowing the sender to express feelings which could not be spoken forthright in Victorian society. Kate Greenaway (1846-1901), whose images are found on many favored buttons, illustrated “The Language of Flowers” (1884).
This large counter enameled emaux peints floral button with a rare pink background sold in our Winter 2014 Armchair Auction for $360.
A rare 19th C. black glass button featuring Ariel, the sprite from The Tempest by Shakespeare. Wonderful detail including the floral border with dragonfly. Sold for $155 in Autumn 2015 Armchair Auction.
A beautiful smoky pearl features an engraved and gilded garden basket filled with tools and overflowing with greenery. The rococo border shape is also flourished with gold. Sold for $178 in Autumn 2015 Armchair Auction.
This painting by Louis Carrogis Carmontelle depicts the garden he designed in 1773 for the Duke of Chartres, now known as Parc Monceau, which included many “follies”, created to surprise and divert the visitor. Follies became popular garden landscape structures of the late 18th and throughout the 19th century and included classical temples, ruined Gothic abbeys, Egyptian pyramids, Chinese pagodas, Japanese bridges, and Tatar tents. Many such structures can also be found on 19th C. and earlier buttons.
A large and deluxe 19th century Satsuma button that has it all. A cobalt button literally covered with gold with Japanese peonies and greenery with an intricate gold border design. Sold for $266 in Spring 2010 Armchair Auction.
A large and beautifully rendered painting set under glass of a young couple in a pastoral setting, with silver rim and back. Sold in our Winter 2013 Armchair Auction for $211. A real prize for a song – which is the lure of the auction!