Sometimes you get lucky. Before David's birthday dinner, we went walking around Glasgow's West End and eventually dipped into our favourite second-hand shop.
Dave spotted a tin filled with old buttons and asked the owner how much they'd be. "Oh, I have plenty more.. haven't really looked through 'em. So many, you know. Was going to throw most of them out," the owner said, in his characteristically abrupt way. And a few seconds later he emerged with three more tins and a big shopping bag.
You know what happened next.
At first I reckoned I had scored maybe 200 vintage buttons but I was way off the mark. I have tentatively sorted maybe half of the buttons (the big 'uns first!) into three boxes. The large plastic bag remains uncharted territory. You can see some of the already-paired-up buttons in the picture on the left. Judging from the style and a few Canadian(!) coins I found, the button collection appears to have been amassed between mid-1930s to late 1970s: a few buttons have a distinct late Art Deco feel to them, some are definitely made from Bakelite and some are still on the original cardboard.
An early Christmas gift from me to me. How much? You wouldn't believe me..