Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.
How to engage the slide show:
click on the first image on the left of the gallery below, then select the arrow at the bottom left of the enlarged image. Or you can manually go to the next slide by hovering your cursor on the middle right side then clicking the arrow that appears. Hover your cursor on the middle left side then click the arrow that appears to go backwards. Close the slide show or manual show by clicking the X button on the lower right of the image. (The image of each button is followed by an image of that button's back or reverse side.)
Acknowledgments, References and information for this category are at the bottom of this page.
An Educational Resource for Button Collectors - originally created by Paul Rice
Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved. Website redesigned and Maintained by
Section 3 : China
* To download and print a pdf of the china worksheet click this link: .
Some descriptions of these buttons may be cut off. Full descriptions can be seen in the slide show mode.
Acknowledgments: Thanks to Lou Yeargain, Janet White, Barbara Barrans, George and Gretchen Gauthier, Mary Whitson, and Sandy Brown, the principle collaborators in the development of this educational resource. Their contributions included reviews, comments, and other support such as providing images or other resources. A special thanks to Joan Lindsay & Joy Journeay for their expert editing skills!
(1) National Button Society Blue Book - Official NBS Classification and Competition Guidelines
(2) Guidelines for Collecting China Buttons - Ruth Lamm, Beatrice and Lester Lorah, and Helen Schuler, NBS, 1970
(3) - Sandra Brown, 2010
(4) of the most commonly confused pairs - George and Gretchen Gauthier - August 5, 2010
(5) China Buttons 101, Janet White, website
(6) A Fresh Look at China Buttons - Barbara Barrans and Pat Fields - National Button Bulletin, May 2007
(7) , an educational website for china button collectors
(8) Read the story about a group of American button collectors visiting the Bapterrosses museum, factory & dump in Briare France and the they found.
(1) The body/base color convention for china buttons is different than for other buttons. Specifically, the Blue Book glossary (page 65) states that the color of a button is determined by the color visible at the shank or back of the button. Further, the glossary and clear and colored glass definitions (7-3) state that the application of decorative finish, overlay, metal back or OME does not affect the base color. China is an exception. Blue Book definition 3-3.1 states that "a plain white bodied china is white; a white bodied china with applied marigold luster is considered orange". In other words, the front surface color of the button is the body/base color for a china button.