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what are these button things called? date?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by eel, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. eel

    eel Registered Guest

    Through some dilligent digging ending in black hands, I made a nice score of all these button/fastener things, although they weren't exactily cheap, I love them.

    They un-hook from their chains, I suspect some are bakelite but haven't tested any, they have metal shanks (I think that's what they are called) on the back for attachment.

    Some I couldn't find their partner, but that's OK I plan on making necklaces with most anyway. There are also a few just buttons I couldn't resist pictured also. Most are tarnished, some pretty bad, but I like the look and will probably leave them that way.

    I just LOVE the ones towards the top of the first few photos, kind of a Victorian/Steampunk look to them





  2. :wow22:

    I am no help whatsoever, but wanted to say those are awesome! Looking forward to learning more about them.
  3. dorotheascloset

    dorotheascloset Registered Guest

    Oooooooooohhhhhh, wow. LOVE those!! I see them on fur pieces a lot, though I've never had any so fantastic!

  4. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member

    At first, I was thinking they looked like buckles, but buckle halves typically hook together ("invisibly", to make a "whole"), and here chain or other metal findings separate the "halves".

    Cloak clasps, maybe?

    (And I agree with Deborah, they are SO cool!)
  5. I agree with Carrie: they're for fastening cloaks or capes. You've got some beauties there.

  6. lkranieri

    lkranieri VFG Member

    Wow...those are wonderful! Great find!

    I am looking for what they were called when they were used, but they reminded me of this image that I saw today:


    so, could they be called fastener clasps? Do they clasp?
  7. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member


    absolute treasure!!

    the blue (dark) looks like lapis, perhaps

    the deep reddish/brick-esche color looks like carnelian



    they do look like buckles...hey, Claire collects buckles, maybe she can confirm or not...
  8. dorotheascloset

    dorotheascloset Registered Guest

    Whenever I've had them they were by themselves as one set, at the throat or a little lower on a cloak or fur stole of sorts. I don't think in the early part of the century they would have been using several of the same to close up a jacket or sweater....likely they were the one show piece on a solid fur or wool cloak/cape/capelet.

    Dont know if they have a specific name.

  9. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing VFG Member Staff Member VFG Past President

    :wow22:I have seen them used mainly on fur capes and cloaks and only at the top.

    Nice to have found so many at once!
  10. eel

    eel Registered Guest

    Thanks for the responses, you all should have seen the pile I was digging through, tons of stunning buttons and parts. A real button collectors dream, but I knew buttons would sit unused in a pile. I do regret not getting more, but am so happy with these. I think they'll make stunning jewelry.
    I don't think any of the stones are real and doubt there are precious metals on any, exept one chain has tarnished like sterling. They are pretty good size also, for example, each part of the top piece is a good 2"

    does anyone have an idea of age? some have a deco look and others look older.
    I fished around for a name for these things and couldn't find one either :clueless:
  11. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

    i checked my jewelry books and some of our old vogue books, but no pix, anyway of anything similar. now i need to read.
  12. Leisa

    Leisa VFG Member

    Yowza! Those are awesome.

    Fur Clips - Cloak Clips or clasps. I'd hazard a guess they're 20s to 30s, but I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along.

    Let us know when you list some. I'd love to see...
  13. Leisa

    Leisa VFG Member

    Oh! I just noticed you have a "set".

    (Sorry for the snatch & the bad editing.)

    Any way the 2 'button' thangs are shoe clips?
  14. eel

    eel Registered Guest

    no they are just buttons
  15. thevintagebungalow

    thevintagebungalow VFG Member

    Those are awesome!! I'm slightly (okay very) jealous! Wonderful find...definitely worth digging for!
  16. Ookoo

    Ookoo Registered Guest

    Beautiful clasps! I can't wait to see what you do with them.
  17. avamac

    avamac Alumni

    I think the proper (or traditional) name is 'cloak clasp'....great collection! And they're 20s and 30s.
  18. amandainvermont

    amandainvermont VFG Member

    Right - You have some great cloak clasp sets. As a recent convert to buttons, I'm wondering what got away! What fun to retrieve these.
  19. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer VFG Member

    Ask erin at [email protected] and use my name. She really should be a member. Claire
  20. APrizeEveryTime

    APrizeEveryTime VFG Special Friend

    Found this one-page feature on cloak clasps in "Popular Jewelry: 1840-1940" by Roseann Ettinger:


    Says they began becoming fashionable around 1860. If there's any text there that you're interested in but can't make out, let me know and I'll type it out for. Heading downstairs for breakfast now ...

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