Button Gallery - Division IV

Button Related Specialties - An Educational Resource

Welcome to the Button Country educational resource for Related Specialties, Division IV in the Official NBS Classification and Competition Guidelines (Blue Book). The materials in this section are the result of an on-line workshop, conducted in 2010, that involved input from more than 60 experienced collectors. This resource was developed to provide new and experienced collectors with a greater understanding and insight into the wide range of fun and interesting collectibles defined as button related specialties in the Blue Book. These pages include more than 1400 visual examples, plus many specific on-line and literature references for those who wish to delve deeper.
Background:  The items assigned to Division IV are outside the normally accepted definition of buttons as treated in Divisions I, III, and IX of the Blue Book. They generally fall into one or more of the following categories: (1) button-like in appearance and function, but not attached to the garment with needle and thread (studs, links, and bachelor buttons); (2) button-like in appearance but serve only a decorative purpose (bridle rosettes, costume trimmings, button covers, shoe button covers, and Obidome); (3) button-related in their use (button hooks); and (4) garment or accessory fastener-related (buckles, clasps, snapettes, tie tacks, and netsuke).  Discovering the "Why" and "When" button related specialties found their way into the Blue Book is daunting, if not impossible. However, It seems likely that, over the years, folks found these fascinating items in their button collections and wanted to bring them into the light through competition. Thus, the Society membership gave them recognition in Division IV of the Blue Book. Since the classification system is a living process, new items could be added to Division IV, if a critical mass of collectors wanted to bring a new item into the division.  However, many experienced collectors maintain a healthy skepticism related to new inclusions that might dilute the Society’s principle focus.
Using this Resource:  The table below is a menu of thumbnails that, when clicked with the mouse, takes the viewer to any one of the nine Division IV sections of interest. Each section stands alone with a background or discussion, a list of the types of items one might expect to find in a nice representation, a table of visual examples, and a listing of credits, acknowledgements, and references at the bottom of each section's first page. The "Div IV Pages" drop down menu on each page (upper right) allows the viewer to return to this home page or proceed directly to another Division IV section.

Section 1
Bridle Rosettes

Section 2
Buckles & Clasps

Section 3
Button Covers

Section 4
Button Hooks

Section 5
Costume Trimmings

Section 6
Links & Studs

Section 7

Section 8
Obi Dome

Section 9
Other Related Specialties