Sunday, August 30, 2009

Romeo and Juliet: Medieval Couple

Romeo and Juliet
Art Nouveau
Stamped and Pierced
White Metal
Couples Button
NBS Medium, 1 1/16"

Romeo and Juliet - Back

This button is known as "Romeo and Juliet." It is a wonderful depiction of romantic "courtly" life. A fancy dressed Romeo presents a parrot or a cockatoo to his love. The actual button is barely over 1" wide. It is a stamped and pierced white metal button, probably made in the Art Nouveau era. The gentleman wears tights, pointed shoes, puffed sleeves and a plumed hat. The lady wears a lovely gown with a long train, and a hennin with a flowing veil. Note the patterned floor, and the framed effect of the button's design, as if it were a woodcut or an illustration for a book. In natural light, the actual metal is a duller silver than a French white metal button, with just a hint of "orange" patina.

Image and Text © 2009 Anne AKA Once Upon A Button


  1. Annie, I have just been sitting here in awe, staring at your buttons. BEAUTIFUL! I love this one (I love them all). I seem to be partial to the Puss In Boots button. I also love the ones with women and flowing hair. This is like a museum collection, and I enjoy it very much.

    It amazes me how someone could create such beautiful art on a button. Thank you for sharing! This is so lovely.

  2. Hi Julie,
    The artistry on these buttons amazes me, too. Somebody had to design them, create the molds, operate the presses, and perform the multi-step construction, and do the tinting and finishing work. I suspect, in some cases, there were many hands involved in the production; and yet, rarely is anyone credited with the design, or even the manufacture of these incredible works of art. The Puss in Boots button is only slightly more than 1/2" wide, and my 12 megapixel camera allows it to be "blown up" to more than ten times it's original size, and it still remains sharply in focus. I can't even fathom how the designer was able to create such a detailed mold!


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