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Button--Very Fine 19th C. Waistcoat Enameled Flowers on Translucent Glass with Foil Inclusion
This is a fine quality 5/8 by 7/16 inches enameled glass waistcoat button from the mid-19th century. When it came to buttons, in the 16th through the mid-19th centuries, men were the peacocks. For much of that period buttons were of a dual nature: perfunctory lavish and artistic embellishment used as a trim rather than a fastener, or the basest material utilitarian fasteners on homespun garments. Coins and elaborate, perhaps discarded, engraved mother of pearl gaming chips were sometime made into buttons to brighten an otherwise rude suit of clothing. By the Victorian period, flashy buttons became the conceits of women, but men just had pretty waistcoat buttons like this one.