Old Buttons

LLewelyn, Sylvia (2012). Old Buttons, Budapest: Tandem Grafikai Stúdió. ISBN 978-915-51940-1-6; softback, 135 pp., fully illustrated in colour. Price: £9.99.

A miniature book filled with useful information about the range of buttons available in the West, basically during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The contents are arranged according to a brief history of buttons, followed by animal matter buttons (bone, horn, shell), vegetable matter buttons (amber, wood, vegetable ivory), precious stone buttons, fabric buttons, ceramic and glass buttons, metal buttons and plastic buttons. The last section on how to identify the various forms of early twentieth century plastics is of particular use. The buttons illustrated are given at a scale of 1:1, which makes understanding their actual dimensions very easy. It is worth noticing that the author of the book, Sylvia Llewelyn, has been running a button shop for many years and has a varied collection of buttons herself. She is currently planning the setting up a button museum in Budapest, Hungary.

Recommendation: This little book will be of interest to anyone who collects buttons as well as those working within the museum world who has to identify nineteenth and twentieth century garments and buttons. The downside to this book is that there is no table of contents or index, so quickly finding information about a specific type of button is not always easy, but it is worth persevering.

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

Search in the TRC website

TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428   info@trc-leiden.nl

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment. Holidays: until 11 August

Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59, Stichting Textile Research Centre

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

TRC Gallery exhibition: 5 Sept. -19 Dec. 2019: Socks&Stockings

facebook 2015 logo detail




The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Stichting Textile Research Centre.
Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
Financial donations to the TRC can also be made via Paypal: 

Subscribe to the TRC Newsletter