The Elusive Igloo

China igloos are highly sought after by china collectors. Their unusual construction (a dome with two holes, one on each side, atop a disk) made them difficult to sew on and probably uncomfortable to wear along the back of a dress. This may have led to the limited quantity of their manufacture and therefore their desirability to collectors. The Guidelines for Collecting China Buttons outlines seventeen different color combinations and they have been found in the small and medium sizes. Shown here are examples from the collections of several china enthusiasts. Please let us know if you have another example that you would allow us to add to this gallery.

China Igloo Patterns and Coloring

PATTERN # IGLOO TOP DISK BASE
1 White White
2 Gray mottled Gray mottled
3 Tan & white mottled Tan & white mottled
4 Brown & white mottled Brown & white mottled
5 White Brown & white mottled
6 White Tan & white mottled
7 White Gray mottled, Brown mottled
8 White Green
9 White Blue
10 White Black
11 White with black cap White with narrow black band near igloo and wider one at edge
12 Gray Black & white mottled
13 Black White with black edge and band near edge
14 Black White with green edge
15 Black White with orange edge and ring near igloo
16 Black White
17 Red White

This chart is from Guidelines for Collecting China Buttons published by the National Button Society.

Pattern 1 Pattern 3 Pattern 7 Pattern 10

Pattern 11 Unlisted Unlisted

More examples with patterns indicated below each button.

More examples showing the size range:

These are igloo disks that have been separated from their igloo domed top. If you find any of these in a container of buttons, search carefully through the container to see if you can find the dome.


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