Check List of Calico Buttons

Check List of Calico Buttons
by Wilfred B. Morgan
Adopted for Conservation by
Neica Goldberg
in honor of Leona Shapiro
on November 7, 2017
Cover of Check List of Calico Buttons

Check list [of] calico buttons

By Wilfred B. Morgan. South Hanover, Mass.: The Author, c1939.

Contrary to what one might expect a calico button to be, such as a calico cloth covered button, this book refers to a china button with printed calico designs. A calico textile pattern was printed in ink on paper that was then laid on top of a tray of fired china buttons. As the tray made a second trip through the kiln, heat transferred the inked pattern onto the surface of the button and the paper was burned away. The author, Mr. Wilfred Morgan, was the first person to publish a catalog of calico button patterns. His catalog has since been used for reference by collectors and the National Button Society. This 1939 pattern book features 150 designs and has check list worksheets in the back for gathering and recording button data. Calico buttons are in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s collection, some of whose patterns are found in this title.

Condition and Treatment: 

This catalog is an ealry 20th century staple bound pamphlet housed in an acidic binder. The pamphlet is attached with a gummed hinge to the front and back covers of the pamphlet. There are multiple tears and loose pages. Conservators will remove the pamphlet from the acidic binder and remove the staples. The tears will be repaired and the pamphlet re-sewn through the fold. A custom enclosure will then be created for this fragile item.

Discover more about this book in our Catalog.

Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future