Eglantine Earrings - Magical Inlay Limited EditionRegular price $95.00
These iridescent earrings showcase two rectangular antique papier-mâché buttons inlaid with sweet abalone flowers. Papier-mâché buttons are some of our collection's most curious, rare, and complex 19th-century buttons.
Most of us conjure images of glue-soaked newspaper and balloons when we think about paper mache. However, its history is much more elegant. In the late 19th century, papier-mâché was used to create exquisite and durable household decor and buttons inlaid with gorgeous shell inlays. Antique papier-mâché buttons are some of our collection's most curious, rare, and complex 19th-century buttons.
These buttons showcase the talents of 19th-century button makers in Birmingham, England, who learned to grind and polish shells to remarkable thinness and then used stencils and acid to create the identically shaped pieces.
We find it miraculous that these delicate, intricate buttons have survived for over a century and are amazed by the energy and activity that went into making them.
In this piece:
- Rectangular papier-mâché buttons inlaid with abalone flowers, circa 1870-1890
- Abalone shell beads
- Brass filigree stampings made today in the USA in vintage dies
- Nickel-free and lead-free brass lever-back ear wires
- Length is 2 ¼” long
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