Sunday, February 22, 2015


The program for the February button club meeting was on Cherub, Cupid, and Putto buttons.

Yes, we learned, they are different creatures. Cherubs typically have wings and attend God. Cupids have wings and weapons and have to do with love. Putti can be either or neither, sometimes they are just cherubic little children, and are often found in Baroque art. 

Or something like that. If we ever really need to understand the fine distinctions we will make a chart and sort it out.

Back to our story. The presenter had several buttons for our inspection. 
This one found its way into our collection because of its reasonable price and intriguing image.

It shows two little cherubs, one breaking sticks to feed a campfire and the other warming his little hands by the flames. Is there more to this story?

A closer look led us to believe that the kindling being used is not just sticks from the nearby trees, but may actually be cupids' bows and arrows. 

What? Cupids giving up on love? Or have they just found out that there is a dot com that has borrowed their name and will likely put them out of business anyway? Or are they so cold without any earthly raiment that the bows had to be put to more practical use? So many possible scenarios!

Well, if they were hanging up the profession we would understand. We have felt the sting of matchmaking gone wrong and have vowed not to dabble in it ever again. Our career as cupid ends with one great success on our record (and several small failures hardly worth mentioning). 

What we do know about the button is that it is pressed brass, made by studio button artist Kevin Kinne of Tennessee, and it is signed and dated '94. Even though it has an antique look to it we are talking 1994, not 1794 or 1894 and the artist's mark is made with a Sharpie.

Just as we always say...every button tells a story. 

Even though we don't often know exactly what that story really is, it is always fun to speculate.

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