Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bakelite, charms, lapel buttons and BOLTS?

You've probably gone to an estate sale or bought a box of buttons at an auction only to find the box contains things other than buttons.  Now I expect that a vintage sewing tin might have things such as needles, pins, zippers, etc. mixed in with the buttons, but often I find other things as well.  Some of them it's easy to understand how they ended up in the button box, but others seem so out of place you just have to wonder how they got there.

The other day I went to an auction and was the winning bidder for a really nice big box of buttons ( lot of which will be turned into vintage button charm bracelets).  After bringing my treasure home, I immediately began sorting.   I was very pleased to find a huge carved Bakelite belt buckle as well as both bakelite and celluloid sweater clips.  Digging further into the box I pulled out some nice vintage lapel pins and some religious charms.  These plus some really great buttons all made my collecting heart beat a little faster.  As I pulled out the next handful, the weird stuff began to appear.  Nails, screws, bolts and brass fittings!  There was even a little hammer that unscrewed to house a miniature screw driver.  Not that you could've used that tiny screwdriver on those screws as they were huge!  By the time I was done sorting, I had filled an entire cigar box full of nuts and bolts.  That got me to thinking about all the stuff I've found in button boxes (besides buttons) through the years.  There's been brooches, broken chains, a few rings, several charms, some coins, the occasional piece of child's jewelry, and lots of marbles. 

So, what's the weirdest or most interesting non-button thing you've found in a button box?


  1. The strangest and scariest things I have found in a tin of buttons were fish hooks. I mean come on! One can see how small things like marble, coins and such get put into button boxes - the mind sort of files small things in similar places, but FISH HOOKS? I kept picturing someone combing through the buttons to find a replacement button for a blouse...shudder! Maybe they enjoyed the small thrill of danger. Or maybe the button box was seeded with fish hooks by someone who didn't like the seamstress much...Very Stephen King, in a button sort of way.
    The creepiest things I have found in a bunch o' buttons are pills. Who missed their medication? Or hid it?

  2. I have some pins or buttons that i wish someone would explain to me. They are small (about the size of a dime) and round and have two straight metal rods in back that push through material on your clothes. They have sayings on them like 'Hello Cookie' and 'Blondes wanted' 'I got one' - any idea what these might be?

  3. SO LOVELY !!!!! And here are other treasures from the button box: