PieceWork Wallets & Things, our inventory of materials had grown to scary proportions and so we set to the job today. In the course of looking through all the thousands (literally ) of old buttons, webbing straps, hardware, sewing supplies and recyclable bags, these treasures came to light.
At top left is a lapel pin, a prize for writing 60 words/minute in shorthand. This one was fake copper, and we also found a silvery one for 100 words/minute. To its right is a button covered with smudgy pink crochet, and to the right of that is a green- pea- sized metal button with minute engraved lines. At the far right is a sparkly cut- glass button, tarnished but with exquisite detailing around the rim.
In the middle at the left is an old bone button. This one and the next ones came in a dusty mason jar that I bought for $3 at the Tobacco Barn when we first started our project. This is the crustiest, rustiest, most home-made group of buttons ever. Numbers 4248 and 4249 are both drawings of the backsides of cloth-covered buttons. The centers are filled with thick stitching instead of a loop or regular drilled holes. 4248 looks like a uniform button to my untrained eye-- a serious brown metal button with letters stamped on the back; 4249 must be a women's coat button as it is covered with heavy pink cloth and has a painted back.
In the middle is a strange tool (4245) that I can't figure out at all. The weight at the bottom moves up and down the bent wire part. This object was rattling around in an otherwise empty tin box.