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1890s Dress Set: Question on Stitched Button Holes / Egyptian Brass Shank Buttons

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by BrookeNault, Dec 15, 2020.

  1. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Hi all!
    I just received a fabulous 1890s 2pc ensemble and I have been pondering the stitched button holes on the bodice. The bodice actually closes with hidden hook/eye closures down front coming to a slight V at front waist. On the left side, there are stitched button holes that are actually open in the centers. I also received 10 antique cut steel brass Egyptian pharaoh buttons from the same estate.

    My question is, as there are hook/eye closures, why would the button holes be open if they are non-functional? I'm also wondering if the Egyptian buttons are even meant for this dress - there are enough for the visible portion of button holes, however, there are also stitched button holes at the top of bodice which are concealed.

    Any help would be appreciated. I do think these buttons are older than 1920s, but would love your thoughts.

    Thank you!

    Attached Files:

    poppysvintageclothing likes this.
  2. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Oops here are more images!

    Attached Files:

  3. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    Egyptomania has come around a few times - late 70s with the King Tut exhibition; early 60s with the film Cleopatra, mid 20s with the discovery of King Tut's tomb, and also the 1870s (here is a great link to the Egyptomania fad then, and also before: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Egyptomania-Sphinxes-Obelisks-and-Scarabs-1688349) I think your buttons are from the 1870s, not the 1890s, but they could have been salvaged and reused. It's not unheard of to have a decorative button plaquet on the front of late 19th century dresses, but its also not uncommon to have a double fastening with a hook and eye inner closure, as well as a buttoned outer closure. In this case, however, I think it's ornamental, and I suspect the buttons would be sewn to the edge of the other side of the bodice opening where you can see the fabric is damaged right where the buttonholes meet the opposite side, and I suspect that damage is because there were buttons sewn there.
  4. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  5. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Thank you Jonathan! I didn't even notice that issue on the other side so I'm glad you mentioned it! I do think the buttons add a great aesthetic, so I'll have to do some research and figure out my next plan. I appreciate your input!

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