Chapter 5: Three-Hole China Buttons

Chapter Five: Three-Hole China Buttons

There are seven plates of three-hole china buttons in Guidelines.  The majority are diminutives (under 3/8″) but there are several examples of size small buttons also.  My card of these is not representative of the buttons available.  A list of the nine groups in this chapter and a few notes on each follows.

  1. Dish Type, Body Style No. 1: (Diminutive) Opaque white; 5 different banded patterns; calico pattern in both 1 and 2 colors; entire top covered in gold; entire top and side covered in gold
  2. Ink-Well Type, Body Style No. 2: (Diminutive) Opaque white; 4 different banded patterns; calico pattern; pearl luster; opaque body colors; marbled
  3. Saucer Type, Body Style No. 3: (Diminutive) Opaque white; 1 banded pattern; calico; pearl luster; opaque body colors
  4. Tire Type, Body Style No. 4: (Diminutive) Opaque white; edge banded in gold; pearl; gold and blue luster; pearl with gold band; opaque body colors
  5. Plate Shape, Body Style 5: (Diminutive) Pearl luster
  6. Scalloped Edge  (Small): opaque white
  7. Back Interest (Reverse of button differs): opaque white and silver luster
  8. Radiating-Line Rim Type: (Diminutive) Opaque white; 6 different banded patterns; pearl luster; opaque body colors
  9. Hobnail Type: (Diminutive and Small) Opaque white; 3 different banded patterns; orange and pearl luster; opaque body colors
Here is a sample card from the Bapterosses Factory in Briare, France, showing the transition in size from the three-hole to the four-hole buttons in several different body types. From left to right: dish, saucer, tire, inkwell, hobnail, piecrust, smooth top.  Size range is 7/32″ to first four-hole at 11/32″
 Probably the buttons in this group most attractive to collectors are the size small three-hole examples and the calico patterns.  I believe there is a size small calico three-hole button, but it has completely escaped my grasp.  Shown below are a few photos just for fun.
The triangular three-hole button in the photo below is part of a group of buttons originating in Briare, France.

Author: Frankie Winters

I'm a Designer, Maker, and Developer in Portland, Oregon. I have two little girls and keep a meticulously organized garage.

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