The first things I shared with you in this series of somewhat random accumulations and consciously gathered collections were the little vintage finds I store in a letterpress tray hanging on a wall on our hallway. That tray was once joined together with this one to form a larger table, but in our new home we no longer needed such a large table, so I split them up again, and added new hairpin legs as well as a smaller glass to this one to make a pretty coffee table. The glass just lays on top of the wooden tray with some clear sticky discs (that probably have an actual name...) keeping it from sliding around, so I can add new stuff and organise everything with ease. Definitely not a very child-proof solution, but it works for two calm adults just fine.
With this letterpress tray I'm not going to go through it compartment by compartment as it would result in a very buttonful list. But as you can see, there are still a few empty slots waiting for something special!
Most part of the buttons comes from my maternal grandmother's button collection, which included many buttons inherited from her mother and aunt Saima, so it's fair to say there are probably many buttons over a century old here. The bits of lace are also from my maternal side, some most likely handmade by my great grandmother and Saima. And at the top left corner there's this floral oval porcelain cabochon - maybe painted by Saima. Sometimes it feels there isn't a fine craft skill the ladies in my family line haven't tried or mastered...
My paternal side is once again in charge of the seemingly endless supply of old keys. Maybe we can, for the sake of having a better story, count that as a skill too.
Below I've picked out a few finds from this first third of my coffee table:
Gorgeous white glass buttons with flowers and old broderie anglaise lace. I believe these are from the Saima era, i.e. counting three generations back from me.
These buttons, however, are my own personal finds acquired on my trips to London. I save all buttons I come across, but I'm quite picky about the ones I intentionally collect (=pay actual money for). Still, I've been known to buy a big lot of buttons just because I see a couple I feel are alone worth the price. One day I will find a way to repurpose (or redistribute) the plain plastic buttons I have jar after jar. Maybe Augusto Esquivel had the same problem I have...