Sunday, October 23, 2016
Though absurdly hard to find and steeply expensive, pinwheel buttons are one of my favorite things. This one's an extravagant spectacle in apple juice and black Bakelite with visible glue holding the pieces together in a dark orange tone. It's a massive button that might've punctuated a mink coat in the 1920's—possibly one designed by Chanel or Pierre Cardin. I purchased this button in March of 2014 at a high-end button boutique called Tender Buttons, located just north of Bloomingdale's on Lexington Avenue in New York City. Tender Buttons specializes in vintage buttons and the shop is a pristine trove of heritage fasteners going back to the 1800's. A serious button collector can't help but make a pilgrimage to this specialty outlet for an exorbitant purchase on something wildly rare.
"...buttons are richly varied, often exquisitely crafted, imaginatively designed and made of valuable materials. In their making they reveal our impulse to enhance even the most familiar and minute details of everyday life and in their collecting they represent our ever-present desire to find the extraordinary in the commonplace."
—Diane Epstein, founder of Tender Buttons, New York, New York