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Three centuries and myriad styles of buttons are represented in this prepossessing volume by Epstein and Safro, owners of a Manhattan button shop. They travel worldwide to augment their formidable collection and offer here a curious history lesson complete with bejeweled French rococo creations, tiny 18th-century British sporting scenes, Italian mosaics, late 19th-century American tintypes and delicate portraits painted on porcelain and ivory. Other buttons shown are made of wood, mother-of-pearl, silver or enamel and are attractively presented against neutral backgrounds; captions list dates, materials used and unusual button trivia. Also included in this surprisingly captivating book are painter Dine's eloquent foreword attesting to the buttons' charm and author Wolfe's recollection of a screening at which a designer's wife was moved more by an actor's gold buttons than by the film's climactic moment. (Oct.)

"Between the covers of this book are decorative works of art, once thought of as merely buttons." -Mario Buatta; "A dazzling cornucopia that charts the button's evolution - from bucolic 18th-century French enamels to racy American silk garter studs with Clara Bow faces - in an absorbing text by two women with a profound knowledge of their subject and a passion that corresponds." -Vanity Fair; "An enchanting book...nothing less than a gallery of paintings, sculptures, carvings and collages in miniature. Once you get a look at these gems, you'll view the not-so-humble closure with a new eye." -Glamour

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