Saturday, January 24, 2009

Buttons : Antler Buttons

(from Fischer-Antics in Germany)

In many cultures lots of early buttons were made from antler (the "horns" of deer). Antler buttons were often manufactured by individuals working at home with simple tools. They are especially very beautiful and typical for the european Alp-countries. After the "Trachten-boom" in the 70s and 80s only a few manufacturers still make antler buttons by hand in the Alps.

(from Fischer-Antics in Germany)

Most of the antlers are collected by hunters in southern Germany, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic. The stags throw their antlers each February and March; so they are not killed for their antlers, but their antlers are found left behind in the forest.

(from Inntaler Hirschhornknopf-Fabrikation)

Everything of the antlers is used. First the antlers are cut lengthwise into flat strips, then disks are cut as close to each other as possible to get as much buttons as possible; 1 kg antler produces about 100 buttons. The disks are then beaten out of the antler strips and the button holes are drilled. Finally they are polished and sometimes also carved. The antler tops are formed into toggle buttons and the rest, dust and chips, becomes biological fertilizer for gardeners.

(from Stephanie Hackstein. Buttons. History and Production.)

Every antler button is unique because every antler is unique. That makes these buttons so beautiful. There are lots of imitations made out of plastic on the market; they are all identical and they all have a snow white backside.

A: real antler buttons; B: plastic imitation buttons (from my own collection)

Some examples of beautiful handmade antler buttons I found on the internet:

(1 and 2 from Hirsch-Hornschnitzer & Hornschmuck-Erzeugung, 3 from Knopfparadies, 4 from rosenhexe31 on Ebay, 5 from ideenreichHandarbeitsbedarf on DaWanda, 6 from buchfink987 on Ebay and 7 from bokkerer on Ebay)

Based on:
Stephanie Hackstein. Buttons. History and Production. Markstein Verlag, Filderstadt 2007. ISBN 978-3-935129-40-4
Grüß Gott aus dem Raum Rosenheim: "Das Imitat ist unser größter Feind", Inntaler Hirschhornknopf-Fabrikation in der dritten Generation.


Nicole said...

Wow - now I've really learned something new for today. Great post!

l'actrice said...

You found some amazing pieces of antler buttons!
Great article!

Star of the East said...

So many buttons and all have a story, thanks for sharing!

fleurfatale said...

Wow, again a very interesting blogpost about buttons!

ingermaaike said...

Oh so totally wowness!

Kreativlink said...

Amazing details on that tiny buttons!!!

Swiedebie said...

Oh my... so unique!

X by Leina Neima said...

Oh, that is cool - to have some new button themed lectures. Thank you!

karlita said...

waw, what a beautiful selection and i loved reading the story!

Miss Mish Mish said...

This is really interesting! The detail of some of them is amazing!

Sigmosaics said...

That is really incredible! this is amazing and so nice to know that they do not hurt the animals for their antlers :D thanks for sharing this post !!

jealousydesign said...

so great and interesting reading!

glasfaden said...

Gorgeous finds and great info! I used to doubt using them, but now I know it better :)