Well, actually it's not really a collection. I mean I don't go out of my way to collect specific buttons. For example, I am not on the lookout for that rare vintage antique Japanese Satsuma "Cat with Fan and Hat" button to finish out my Japanese Satsuma Series. Which, by the way, a pair of these just sold on eBay for $100. That's right $100 for two old buttons.
I would have to classify my buttons as more of an accumulation rather than a collection.
I used to be an eBay seller. I sold vintage items. In order to acquire vintage items, one must be on a perpetual treasure hunt. That means constantly attending garage and estate sales along with sitting through hours of estate auctions.
I must have gone through a button phase because I apparently and frequently needed to be the top bidder on old sewing baskets filled with buttons.
Yes, I remember, I did have a fascination with old buttons. I think it satisfied some obsessive-compulsive tendencies that I may have a tinge of. By that I mean, I could immerse myself in a tin of hundreds of buttons, sorting through them, grouping them together by color and size, two hole or four hole, metal, plastic or glass. I would scoop up handfuls and then let them slip through my fingers. They felt smooth and silky. Before I knew it, hours would have gone by and I would be surrounded by stacks and piles of buttons.
But, in addition to my slight OCD urges, I was aware that there are serious button collectors out there who will pay big bucks for just the right button. The thing about buying buttons at estate auctions or garage sales is that you most always have to buy in bulk. And you never know what you might find in grandma's old Christmas cookie tin.
Now, in order to find out if I had any of the rare ones, I, of course, had to have a means of identifying the buttons and determining the values of the buttons I now possessed. There is a bible for button collectors. It's titled "The Big Book of Buttons" by Elizabeth Hughes, circa 1981, now out of print.
Yep, I am the owner, no make that proud owner, of the rare and out of print Button Bible.
It's now years later. My button phase has passed. I did sell a few unique ones on eBay. I probably even recouped the cost of the Button Bible.
But I am now left with hundreds and hundreds of plain old ordinary buttons.
And what does one do with plain old ordinary buttons. After all, I've already sorted them.
Today, I am feeling quite sad. Grief. Interesting, I started out wanting to write about grief. Suddenly, however, I found myself thinking about my button accumulation. It's easier to talk about buttons, though. Less uncomfortable for me and for you. So once again I immersed myself in my buttons, just like I've done so many times before.