Monday, 13 June 2011


Did your Mum have a button tin when you were small? Unless you're a crafter of some description I bet most people don't have one these days. My Mum kept all kinds of 'treasures' in her Taverner's Wine Gums tin which I used to enjoy playing with even though I didn't know what half of them were, or where they'd come from.
The item above was one thing which intrigued me - what on earth was it? Not a pencil, why did it have a knob on the top and a tiny hole in the bottom piece of metal? Years later I found out that it's a lace bobbin made of bone but where did it come from because neither Mum nor Granny (who lived with us) made lace?   

Then this pretty green bead.I wonder why she kept this. Was it just because her favourite colour was green?
It looks a bit like the amazonite I had in a ring - before I lost it at White Waltham airfield several decades ago. In those days I had long hair and had rewound it into a coil to repin it - and took my ring off. Forgot to replace it and so lost it.
This is a spinner from a game called Put and Take, a weighty bit of brass wth a textured 'stalk' at the top by which to spin it. I think it was a pub game played for money so how on earth did we get it?
The pug's head was a favourite of my Dad - but what is it for? Looks a bit like the Wade figures you see from time to time but this must be Edwardian or Victorian as I remember it in the 1940's. It's only 3/4" high, too. It's standing on a modern pencil holder, given to me as a present years ago but just the right base to stand this little object on.

Something from WW2 - the only piece of shrapnel I have. After a raid we children in the road would go out searching for shrapnel and I had quite a good collection of various bits and pieces which disappeared over the years. Henry Shrapnel didn't how his invention would be used in the two centuries since he invented it...
This is the first of two pieces from WW1 - a piece of a Zeppelin which was shot down in 1916 by Lieutenant Leefe Robinson who won the VC for this.  He died on 31st December 1918 during the flu epidemic which swept the world. The label was written by Mum and I've never seen handwriting like hers anywhere else. I have a photo of her in class about 1910 which I also found in a book.....

And the last piece is a map of Australia carved in the trenches by the Australian soldier who married my aunt Ada and took her to Australia, never to be seen again by her family in England, as was usual in those days. He was a sapper digging tunnels under the German lines in order to fill them with high explosive and detonate them. (Not personally, you understand.) Mum used to say he could hear the German sappers nearby digging their tunnels and it seems to have been correct. I believe there's an exploration of new tunnels taking place 'now'. The metal shape has writing scratched on it but I need someone with a thingy scanner - what's the word, ultra violet? - to pick up the indentations.

Apart from these pieces there was a sample block of Rose and Hubble cotton  pieces stapled together. I think the pinked edges fascinated me as much as anything. There was an ?Edwardian shoe buckle, only one, with a diamante frame and moveable prongs on a bar - I discovered what that was on Antiques Roadshow!
A small, soft, baby's hairbrush though not mine, as far as I know, in a case which didn't belong to it. A marriage of two odd pieces. There must have been buttons, too, including those white linen discs which were used on men's underclothing - you punctured them with your needle wherever you happened to come up through the material...But not the colourful buttons we have in our boxes these days - Mum's collection was mostly black or brown coat buttons, trouser buttons or salvaged buttons for cardis or jerseys.

I think the shoe buckle must have belonged, or at least come from, a lady for whom my Granny scrubbed the outside doorsteps of her house.She often sent us hand-me-downs which weren't of practical use but I liked them for dressing up clothes - I've just remembered I have a piece of real diamante 'material' which must have been like wearing chain mail if it was a garment! A cut steel little ?evening bag on a chain with spiky pendant beads hanging from the bottom which went into the dressing up box - ah! where is it now???

What's in your button box - if you have one???


Kath said...

What lovely little momentoes.
I'm afraid there are only butons in my button box, but I have plenty of other boxes and tins that include interesting little bits and bobs.

Sylve said...

Let's hear about them, Kath and see them, too, please.

Nan said...

Oh so many little mementos here and how interesting you have them all. Thanks for visiting my blog today and making a comment.

Sylve said...

You're very welcome, Nan. Hope it was a good day.