When you choose to collect buttons associated with the
entertainment industry, you have a range of possible area to pursue,
from theaters and movie studios, which are uniform buttons, to
characters and actors, as well as opera scenes and opera houses, which
are clothing, non-uniform buttons.
Early movies theaters
were owned by movie studios until 1949 when a Supreme Court decision
forced the studios to divest. In those great movie theater days, the
employees often wore uniforms to identify and to impress. Ushers,
particularly, wore uniforms with flashy buttons. Collectors today look
for these commercial uniform buttons that are included in Division II of
the classification. Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall also
had employees wear special buttons on their uniforms.
all remember the images of stars of the 1930s—40s films pulling their
cars through the gates of the movie studios. The guards greeted them
with a friendly wave, wearing uniforms showing the current logo of the
company. Warner Brothers, RKO, Paramount, and Warner Brothers all have
buttons that are available to collectors. These buttons are also uniform
buttons in Division II.
Besides uniform buttons, many
characters can be found on buttons. These are clothing, non-uniform
buttons, and collectors include them in Division I (1918 and older) and
Division IX (after 1918). Did you ever see the movie “ET?” What fun to
find an ET button or any of the many characters from films over the
years! You can find Mickey Mouse, the Little Mermaid, Bambi, Cinderella,
Charlie Brown, the Smurfs, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Michelangelo and Leonardo, and others. These are usually intended for
children’s clothing, but collectors have another interest. Button images
also show movie actors including the image of Charlie Chaplin shown on a
Movies have often used the words and
music of productions originally intended for the stage. If your interest
is opera, you can find buttons depicting scenes like Lohengrins’
arrival, Carmen and Toreador, Madame Chrysanthemum, Cleopatra, and
others. French actress Sarah Bernhardt is depicted in her role as
L’Aiglon; Jenny Lind, the songbird of the nineteenth century, is shown
on buttons of various materials. There is even an impressive button for
the Philadelphia Opera House.
A premiere button for any
collector of entertainment buttons would be one showing the Oscar
statuette. Birchcroft Fine Bone China of England produced a very limited
production and a real gem to find.
So, whether you look for
uniform buttons, modern non-uniform buttons intended for children’s
clothing, or antique non-uniform buttons depicting operas and plays, you
will be going to the movies with your buttons.
About the Author:
Maridell Mason has contributed previously with an article on heart buttons.