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Post your china related questions here! We'll try to answer...

Help ID These?

August, 2002

These buttons from the collection of Jan Beckley are certainly unusual. Can you shed any light on them? Do you have similar examples?



And this one on a cream background?

Response: The three buttons in the first photo above are probably kitchen jobs, i.e. hand decorated chinas. Usually, the paint will scratch off quite easily. The second photo is probably just a worn gingham.


The Sincerest Form of Flattery


April, 2002

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...then the humble china calico should be proud. Pat Fields has turned up some very interesting plastic reproductions of china calico buttons. She found the two pictured patterns in brown and also in blue and pink. She thinks that they may have come from sample cards sent to clothing manufacturers. Does anyone have any additional information to pass along?

Julia Coons of Utah also had seen the "plasticoes". She found them in a Ralph Lauren store about 15 years ago in Utah. She's not sure of the manufacturer, but at least she has narrowed it down to a clothing designer and a time period.

Response: Millicent Saffro of Tender Buttons in New York City recalls when a representative of Ralph Lauren purchased calicoes in her store during the 1980s. Presumably, these originals were the models for the plastic calicoes. Visit the Flickr page of Z's Wife to view more Ralph Lauren plastic reproduction calicoes.




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