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On the Button: The Significance of an Ordinary Item [Hardcover]

Nina Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Nov 2011
What do you use every day that is small and large, worthless and beyond price? It's easily found in the gutter, yet you may never be able to replace it. You are always losing it but it faithfully protects you; sexy and uptight, it is knitted in to your affections or it may give you nightmares. It has led to conflict, fostered and repressed political and religious change and epitomizes the great aesthetic movements. It's Eurocentric, and is found all over the world. On the Button is an inventive and unusual exploration of the cultural history of the button, illustrated with a multiplicity of buttons in black and white and colour. It tells tales of a huge variety of the button's forms and functions, its sometimes uncompromising glamour, its stronghold in fashion and literature, its place in the visual arts, its association with crime and death, its tender call to nostalgia and the sentimental. There have been works addressed to the button collector and general cultural histories. On the Button links the two, revealing why we are so attracted to buttons, and how they punch way above their weight.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (30 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848855842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848855847
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 15 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 641,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'Nina Edwards knows everything you might want to know about buttons, and much more that you have never imagined. Her book is a tour de force, and full of interesting stories.' --Alison Lurie, novelist and author of 'The Language of Clothes'

[Nina Edwards] sums it up best herself in the end. 'This book...has turned into somewhat of a maze....' It is a maze of delightful exploration and discovery. Not a button's collector's handbook, to be sure but an engaging, in-depth account of the button's connection to the many facets of our lives. --New Hampshire State Button Society

About the Author

Nina Edwards is a freelance writer. She is also an actor and lives in London.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So enjoyable 3 Mar 2012
By Cleo
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An immensely readable exploration of what I used to think about as just an ordinary object. The button in history and art is fully explored in this very enjoyable book. I never knew buttons came into so many aspects of life. I liked things like the part on how Native Americans were introduced to button making. The fashion information and pictures are really useful.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject 13 Jan 2014
By Simone Carbonneau Kincaid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for those who love buttons and are interested in the history of buttons. Lots of research went into this book.
Wish there were more illustrations.
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks interesting 6 July 2013
By dave silvernail - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book just arrived, I haven't read it yet. I'm sorry it doesn't have more colored pages and I didn't realize it was a British book.
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