Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Buttons ~

Someone asked in a recent post what 'vegetable buttons' were.
I believe they are called 'ivory vegetable buttons'. Most of what you see
in the photo above are vegetable buttons. These were a win on Ebay.
From Webster's New World Dictionary is this:
vegetable ivory; the fully ripe, ivorylike seed of a South American palm tree.
This ivory nut is the principle source of vegetable ivory used for carving.
Down through the centuries buttons were made from wood, ivory, bone, antlers, pewter,
and various other metals.
Some of these are plastic but most are vegetable ivory buttons, dyed browns and
I believe these are also referred to as 'Tagua Nut buttons'.
Correct me if I am wrong. ;-) Please share if you have any knowledge of
these buttons. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Linda;
    You're a girl after my own heart. I LOVE buttons. When I have them out and am sorting them, Handsome refers to me as "Scrooge McDuck" (like when he was in his counting room!) Too funny!
    Congrats on your eBay score. I love shopping eBay!

  2. I also love buttons. When I was a little girl my Mom had a small button box. It was one of my favorite things to look through. I have a jar of buttons and it just makes me happy. I have heard of them called Tagua nut but not ivory vegetable before. Interesting.

  3. What interesting information. I love the browns and tans...just yummy. I love buttons too and played with my grandmother's, they can hold quite a fascination.

  4. Yes, tagua nut is the correct term. I lived in Ecuador for a number of years and that's one place they come from. Tagua nuts are a renewable resource and they make such pretty buttons.

  5. Thanks for sharing all this great info on the buttons! I love vintage buttons, but I'd never heard of this type before--love learning new things!

    Hope you're having a wonderful evening!

  6. I did not know that! They say you are never too old to learn. Thank you for your words of wisdom...

  7. Hello Linda,

    These are sooooo beautiful, I like the colors. I take a look on Ebay or I can find them, I hope so.


  8. Love your buttons,
    I did not know there was such named buttons, great to hear a little history, and writing here, I just the photo of your turquise buttons,they are so wonderfull ,too.

  9. I had no idea there were buttons made from vegetable ivory. Heck, I had no idea there was such a thing as vegetable ivory! Thank you for the info, I'll have to have a rummage through my button boxes now and see whether any of them are vegetable ivory. Hmm. I don't think I have any hope of being able to recognise them.

  10. I do love buttons. Any time I see some on old clothing I have to get it just for the buttons! That is so interesting about the vegetable buttons. I know in the Carribean they take a huge nut and carve things with it. There are creative people everywhere! Oh, I love the look of your paper flowers too!!

  11. Well, I had no idea they were called that! I have loads of buttons that look like this - most of which I don't use and I thought they were just ordinary old buttons. Thanks for sharing this fascinating information!


  12. Yes, you're right about the tagua. I'm not sure how long they've been using it for buttons. I've been becoming quite a collector too lately and turning them into earrings and necklaces.

    Funny how they multiply when the word gets out. People have been handing me jars of 'em lately!

  13. Hi Linda,
    Thanks for sharing the button info, I will have to look through my button collection to see if I have any of those. I love the fact that buttons, sweet little discs, are so fascinating and some are little works of art!
    PS- Beautiful pictures!

  14. What a beautiful collection of buttons! I too, am a button collector and enjoyed seeing your wonderful collection!! I recently blogged about my vintage buttons -

  15. Love this information, I will have to re look at my old buttons. Thanks for sharing!!

  16. Thank you for the great information! I've been sharing these in some of my listings and simply call them "vintage buttons"~ Now my daughter & I know more!
    They're beautiful! Love your photographs~

  17. Thanks so much for sharing that info! didn't know anything about that. I think I may have some in my collection. I wonder how you can tell if they are plastic or not. I too am a button collector! i remember going to thrift stores with my grandmother and her buying clothes just for the buttons. Now i do the same thing!

  18. So many of us are fascinated by buttons and have a connection to fond childhood memories of mothers and grandmothers button boxes.....the colors look so rich and warm together...buttery brown and beige tones! Lovely post.

  19. I LOVE BUTTONS!!!!

  20. Buttons are good therapy. I am glad to learn about these, I have a quart jar full and had no idea they were more than plastic. When I have time I will have to look at them more closely. Thank you for the info. KEwl flowers!
    I can't wait to see what you do with the paper dolls I sent.


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