Archive for November, 2015

Holiday Travel

So many delightful ways to travel to House of Button! Perhaps you’ll come by Coach-and-four (or six or eight – wouldn’t that be great!) A Troika, I hear, feels almost like flying! The troika is often claimed to be the world’s only harness combination with different gaits of the horses. The center horse moves in an extended straight forward trot, while the horses on either side gallop smoothly and swinging with outward bent heads. This produces a harmony of movement, which has been described as like a three–headed bird hovering in the air. The troika was developed in Russia during the 17th century, first for the speedy delivery of mail, and then utilized more commonly by the end of the 18th century.  A troika’s design favors fast speed over wide distances, a great asset for travel in that grand continent where snow and poor roads often rule, and a most necessary mode for Siberia. A great jingling of bells announces the arrival of the hitch, with typically over a hundred bells attached to the harnesses.


19th C. Troika Button

A tin coated 19th C. picture button of a troika skimming across a moonlit Russian landscape. Sold in our Summer 2010 Armchair Auction for $65.

Early Troika Transport

Tortoise Transportation

A detailed passenger coach pulled by two horses in silvered metal is mounted on a polished tortoise disc with beautiful deep cranberry coloring. Note the four passengers inside the coach, the four on top, and the driver and footman. This 1 1/4″ medium size button sold for $376 in our Autumn 2015 Armchair Auction.

Skating in Central Park

A scarce and always desirable button for collectors, “Skating in Central Park”, from a Currier and Ives print. The button has been found in seven sizes. Currently offered in the Button Shop is an extra-large 1 7/8″.

Laplander with Reindeer

A medium one-piece brass featuring a Laplander on his reindeer-pulled sleigh. This medium 1″ size button sold for $44 in our Winter 2012 Armchair Auction.

Snow Scene

Early Coachmen’s Engraved Pearl

A large and exquisite engraved pearl from the early part of the 19th century. The detailed scene, enhanced with dark pigment, is on a thick and highly iridescent pearl disk and shows a coachman and four passengers atop a coach pulled by four high stepping horses. Coaching was a popular English gentleman’s sport of the time and the coachmen were said to have worn these large pearl buttons on the capes of their uniforms. This large 1 3/4″ button sold for $825 in our Autumn 2011 Armchair Auction.

Stained Glass Button

A fun and colorful artist-created stained glass button. Extra-large at 3 1/8″. A button such as this hanging in the window reflects all the holiday lights!

Christmas Angel

A scarce button in sepia tinted ivoroid titled the “Christmas Angel”. This large 1 1/2″ size sold in our Spring 2012 Armchair Auction for $363.