I don't know what I did to deserve this, but I am amazed at the collection of buttons I have acquired. I guess it is more of an inheritance, in a way. My Grandmother is a wonderful woman, and she constantly gives me beautiful pieces of clothing, sewing notions, hats, and so many things to make things out of. One thing that she has given me is a large collection of buttons. Today, I decided to empty out the many packages and try to sort them into groups, so that I might use them in future creations. I was mystified and thrilled by the treasures that brushed my fingertips.
One thing that I enjoy about the world is the ability to sometimes touch history, and come in contact with the past. To connect yourself to it in a way beyond text and movies, and create your own stories and musings surrounding a small object, a building, whatever it may be. That was how I felt when I was in London, in Bannack, in Fort Benton, Robsart Cemetery...anywhere quiet and somehow sacred, veiled in mystery and shrouded in decades or centuries.
That is the same kind of sense I get when I handle family objects or items in an antique or junk shop. Small items with its own history. A history you will never know because it surpasses your entire existence, and yet here you are, a part of that history, creating your own history around a tiny little thing. Because of this view of old items, I tend to become extremely attached to such things, like they're far more meaningful than something as small as a button or a piece of string or whatever it is.
Thus, my absolute adoration for these buttons. To me, they're more than just fasteners for clothing. It's like a rite of passage, passed down from my grandmother and my great-grandmothers and on and on. It might be silly to get such a sense from bits of plastic and glass... wood and shell... metal and cloth. However, to me, they're some of the most beautiful things I own.
While I was going through the buttons, I found some particularly wondrous ones.
One of the buttons that caught my attention the most is a small copper coloured button with a stamped or engraved face.
It is a three-legged eagle, surrounded by the words 'es devs spes nostra', which means 'God is our hope'. Apparently there are many versions of this button (in all the buttons I found, I actually found two. The other one is a shiny brass button with a smaller crest, and larger face). I read that it is similar to a button used on uniforms during the British Revolutionary war, but also appeared on a myriad of sports coats, jackets, and so on. It is very likely that I will read about it further, and learn more about it. Talk about an interesting source for a timeline of an item, and tracking the history of one item. Why would a button with a Latin motto such as this appear on sports coats?