I've gotten a handful of requests through my e-mail asking me for help in identifying buttons. If I know anything specific, I'm happy to answer, but the sources I've been recommending are the National Button Society, and the California State Button Society's Facebook Page. I have links to both of these sites on my sidebar. Increasingly, Facebook has become a rewarding place for button collectors to meet and to share their love of buttons.
I've also received requests about the value of specific buttons. Value is subjective and I'm not an expert. An easy way to get some idea of the value of specific buttons is to check for the selling price of similar buttons on E-bay; though you have to keep in mind that some buttons sell for more than they are worth, due to buyer "frenzy." I've seen common buttons go for exorbitant prices, and valuable buttons sell for an astonishingly small price when no one else countered a beginning bid.
Buttons in poor condition have very little value, other than sentimental value for the owner, including the pleasure of discovery and the button's historical significance. Also, beginning collectors or speculators should keep in mind, that buttons should never be cleaned, or they should be cleaned with great caution and an understanding of the button's materials. When you overclean, you either destroy the materials, remove the original finish, or alter the attractive patina of age. Other than a light buffing, it's almost always better to leave a button alone. And never remove a shank!
I've said it numerous times, but it's true: I plan to update my site soon! I'll be sharing more buttons with a medieval theme including dragons and castles, more art nouveau women, mythology buttons, fairy tales, fables, children, birds, black glass, pewter, and vegetable ivory. As soon as I can photograph "him," up next is a depiction of a well known celtic warrior, a national hero of France, rarely identified correctly in America. I own the button in two sizes with two different finishes, highly detailed, purchased years apart, and both in perfect condition.
Image and Text © 2010 Once Upon A Button
Please note: Since this is an information site, I generally don't publish comments, or link to sites, that advertise items for sale.
2 weeks ago