The modern studio button imitates the frills of the Victorian era classified as heart-shaped button rather than a heart pattern button because of the rose—a pictorial.
The cinnabar mounted in silver is a twisted heart-shaped button.
This is a heart-shaped button in celluloid with the Jack of Clubs shown.
There are many heart-shaped buttons with pictorials—a niello with a Siamese dancer, a work clothes Carhart, a floral mosaic, and a black enamel with a rose.
This radiant has a green glass dab at the shank and a clear molded cap with a heart pattern/design.
Four buttons have the heart pattern—an embroidered fabric, a molded composition, a modern pewter, and a black glass.
A green Bakelite and a copper heart-shaped show the pierced with Cupid’s arrow.
St. Valentine’s Day people present their
loved ones with heart-shaped cards, candy, and trinkets. The heart has become the symbol of love and affection with its own language.
red heart pierced by the Cupid's arrow is a traditional symbol of
Valentine's Day. The giving of a heart means to hand over one's
existence to another. A heart pierced by a Cupid's arrow means that when
someone presents a heart, he/she takes the risk of being rejected and
feeling hurt. The piercing arrow, therefore, symbolizes death and
vulnerability of love. Some people also believe that the heart and arrow
symbolizes the uniting of male and a female. But, h
ow did the shape become associated with love?
Nobody's quite sure, but it might have to do with a North African plant. During the 7th
Century B.C., the city-state Cyrene had a lucrative trade in a rare,
now-extinct, plant: silphium. Although it was mostly used for seasoning,
silphium was reputed to be
a form of birth control
. Silphium was so important to Cyrene's economy that coins were minted that
depicted the plant's seedpod
which looked like the heart shape we know today. The theory goes that
the heart shape first became associated with sex and, eventually, with
romantic ideas about the heart-shape's origin exist as well. Some claim
that the modern heart shape simply came from botched attempts to draw
an actual human heart, the organ which the ancients, including Aristotle, believed contained all human passions. One leading scholar of heart iconography claims that the philosopher's physiologically inaccurate description
of the human heart—as a three-chambered organ with a rounded top and
pointy bottom—may have inspired medieval artists to create what we now
know as the heart shape. The medieval tradition of courtly love may have reinforced the shape's association with romance. Hearts can be found on playing cards, tapestries, and paintings.
Around the 12th
century, people were not aware the function of heart was to circulate
blood inside the human body. What they knew was that heart begins to
beat faster when a person is upset or excited. They, therefore, derived
that heart was the seat of emotions and feelings. Poets too eulogized
the role of heart in feelings of love and romance and over the years
this make believe connection between heart and love became deep seated
in the minds of people. Today, even though it has been scientifically
proved that emotions come from the brain heart remains a powerful symbol
of love and Valentine's Day.
Why do we single out February 14 to celebrate romance? It's said to be the day St. Valentine, a Roman priest during the third century,
was executed. Legends about Valentine vary. Some say he was killed for
illegally marrying Roman soldiers to Christian women; others claim it
was for helping Christians escape punishment at the hands of the pagan
emperor. Just before his death, it's believed that he sent an
affectionate note to the beautiful daughter of his jailer—the very first
Paper valentines became so popular in England in the early 19th
century that they were assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were
made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the
mid-19th century—the era of the love of Victoria and Albert.
In the United States, the reinvention of Saint Valentine's Day in the
1840s has been traced by Leigh Eric Schmidt, who as a writer in Graham's American Monthly observed in 1849, "Saint Valentine's Day... is becoming, nay it has become, a national holyday." Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The mid-19th century Valentine's Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the United States to follow. The
National Button Society defines the heart as symmetrical or distorted
motif with two lobes on top converging to a point at the bottom. The
lobes and points need not join. The heart may be considered a
traditional, non-pictorial design/pattern with the button showing
single, multiple, or combined patterns that constitute a central design
or border. In addition, the heart is also considered a shape either
two-dimensional or three-dimensional. Of course, the heart is often found on pictorial buttons as part of the design. Collectors combine their buttons with old valentines to make beautiful mountings.
About the author
Maridell’s interest in buttons goes back to her
early years when she remembers seeing her grandmother’s, Mary C. Leonard,
framed cards of buttons on her walls. Both her grandmother and her
great-grandmother mother, Mary Payne Cook, were avid collectors of both buttons
and post cards. Maridell has continued to add to the collections, especially
with uniform buttons.
Her husband, Karle Mason, is retired from the US
Army, and they had moved many times over the years, so she now looks for
uniform buttons from the various countries where they have lived or visited. With
her multi-faceted interest in history and related topics, she enjoys collecting
many subject areas of buttons from railroads, schools, government, and foreign
uniform buttons. Maridell has learned a
lot from collecting buttons and enjoys sharing the fun of buttoning, by giving
programs to her clubs--Martha Washington Button Club (VA) and the Black-eyed
Susan Button Club (MD) and to other groups. In addition, Maridell has written
for the National Button Society Bulletin.