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Division IV : Related Specialties
Links to button related pages:
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.
The purpose of these pages are to provide visual examples for each catagory of buttons as defined in the NBS Classification Guide (Blue Book). The examples are grouped and labeled in accordance with the Blue Book outline. In some cases, more than one example of a type is shown. Some labels include additional attributes but there is no intention to identify all features. Potential labeling issues or suggested improvements should be directed to the NBS classification committee.
Scanning or photographing examples has distinct limitations in the areas of perspective, color, details, and dimensions. Thus, many eaxamples do not reveal their true character and appearance in the photos or scans. When uncertainty exists, ask a fellow collector, club member or a dealer to show you an actual example of the button in question.
The menu to the right is labeled by NBS material or type. Clicking on each menu link will take you to examples and worksheets in that section.
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.