Old Framed Button Art

button collage/artwork ©booksandbuttons---click to enlarge

button collage/artwork ©booksandbuttons—click to enlarge

Not too long ago the Other Half came home from an auction and gave this artwork to me.  What do you say to a guy like that?

It takes some getting used to—and I decided this morning that the time had come to let you know about it.   I think it might have been assembled in the 1930’s or so, but that’s just a guess.  It’s kind of clever—colorful chiffon-y fabrics for a background and then the assorted buttons sewn on in a pattern.  I think it’s a bird/stork/swan/something.  Squint your eyes and maybe you can see him.  Close your eyes and it’s even clearer!  Just kidding.

Framed, it measures about 26 x 30 inches–big!

Ninety-nine percent of the buttons seems to be cut steel type–and have a soft glint to them in the overall picture.

old steel buttons ©booksandbuttons

old steel buttons ©booksandbuttons

These along the top with the Oriental motif you might wish were papier mache, but they stick pretty heartily to a magnet . . .and see the “bullseye” button which is the bird’s eye in the big picture?  If you go back to the first picture and enlarge it, you’ll see that that’s the bird’s eye.

the "eye" ©booksandbuttons

the “eye” ©booksandbuttons

I think it’s clever that the artist used bits of black netting to represent the wings:

netting for wings©booksandbuttons

netting for wings©booksandbuttons

There are two leaping deer which I think are papier mache:

leaping deer ©booksandbuttons

leaping deer ©booksandbuttons

and to the left of the deer, is my favorite button—-an early button with a turtle on a horn base. See him?  And that is delightfully surrounded by tan “whistle” buttons that have sunken sewholes.

the turtle and whistlers©booksandbuttons

the turtle and whistlers©booksandbuttons

And there are even some fabric buttons–these old white crocheted balls were glued on—well, most of them.   Occasionally we find one rolling around in the garage where the “artwork” resided for a while.

crocheted buttons

crocheted buttons

So!  here is a project you yourself can whip up while you’re waiting for spring to come.  All it takes is some imagination and time—and you’ve got both, right?  Send me a picture when you’re finished!

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3 Responses to Old Framed Button Art

  1. Mary Jo says:

    Very nice. It’s amazing what can be done with things. That smiley face in the lower left — in the 1930’s??! Probably not. So maybe that’s a stylized nest with 2 big eggs; or those eggs could be 2 baby birds! TWEET! I like the frame too. What a good find, Better Half! Thanks for showing us.

  2. Ha! I never made it out to be a smiley face–you’re good. But still, the overall feel of the piece is old and shall I say musty, almost rusty? I’m sticking with my time frame. You have a good point, tho–maybe it’s the kind of art that you find something new or different every time you look. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Mary Jo—-I think you’re right—I’ll bet they ARE eggs! They are two nice mother-of-pearl buttons that would be fun to use as eggs . . .and that round thing is their nest. Cute.

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