19th Century Charm String Button Necklace | Civil War Buttons
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Here we have a rare Victorian charm string button necklace with a wide array of designs and materials, including a handful of Civil War buttons. With over 100 buttons, you have a litany of stories to explore. It's a fascinating glimpse into the 19th century. The first one that got my attention was the Civil War dragoon button....and I was off to the races. The buttons with embosses animals are a trip as well.
Here is more historical background on charm strings courtesy of the Wellington website https://www.wellington.ca/en/discover/buttoncollectioncharmstring.aspx
Collected by Victorian girls in the 1860s to early 1900s, charm strings, also known as memory strings or friendship strings, displayed hundreds of buttons. It all started with a 'touch button' a large button tied at one end that started the charm string. Long strings displayed the unique, shiny, beautiful buttons, made of glass, metal, pearl, china, vegetable ivory or hard rubber. Girls kept the strings visible for family, friends, and even suitors to contribute to its growth.
Donated by visitors, family, and friends or swapped by fellow collectors, a button was given for good luck or to memorialize an event (e.g. a birth, wedding or even involvement in a war). As well as buttons, some items strung on the charm included meaningful objects, coins, miniature arms and legs of dolls' and religious medals strung along the way.
The rare antique charm string comes out of the estate of Liang May Seen and Woo Yee Sing, who established the first Chinese restaurant in Minneapolis, as well a curio shop.
The 19th century necklace measures 36" long. There are over 100 buttons on the string. There is light patina from age throughout all the buttons. Please see all pics as they are part of the description.