Around 1925 and following WWI, the Art Deco period exploded into fashion.. Art Deco buttons are easily identified by their geometric forms and zigzag lines. Many are made of bakelite or celluloid.
China buttons were sturdy, everyday buttons for the working class. Manufactured in England as early as the 1840’s, these buttons were an affordable alternative to porcelain, thanks to a new, faster process in button-making.
Glass buttons have been made in The Czech Republic, (or Bohemia, as it once was called), since the 1600’s. Czech glass is known for its high quality.
Mother of pearl, or “MOP” buttons are made from the clam or mussel shell. Musatine, Iowa was once considered the “pearl button” capital of the world. With its proximity to the river, it had a steady supply of shells.
Victorian women wore specially designed “perfume buttons” to absorb perfumes too irritating to be applied directly to their skin.
Vegetable ivory is another name for the tagua nut, which comes from a tree in South America.
Black Victorian glass buttons were made to resemble jet, a rare mineral made popular by Queen Victoria in the late 1800’s.
Victorian metal buttons (late 1800’s) were usually quite ornate. Popular among Victorian women were buttons that displayed natural scenes and flowers. They were referred to as picture buttons.