Fauna of the buttonhook world

Shoe buttonhook - a simple and functional device intended to facilitate buttoning of the shoes, became a widely spread household accessory in the second half of the 19-th century.

Victorian times are often described as the time when people strived to rationalize and mechanize even the simplest routine operations. But the interest to the history of this period cannot be explained by simple aspiration of the Victorians for technical perfection. The beauty of the objects, even of the most utilitarian ones, has never been pushed to the background, aesthetics was never less important than functionality.

Buttonhooks, that became highly collectible now, specifically because manufacturers regarded them not only as mass produced goods, but also as a way to show their creativity, are a vivid example of this approach. Handles for buttonhooks made of wood, nut, stone, ivory, silver and later of plastics, covered themes and subjects, which were difficult to imagine.

One the rare types of buttonhooks are the ones with handles depicting animals. Shoe Icons collection has 6 buttonhooks covering the subject, which we present to you in a small photo exhibition that we called Fauna of the buttonhook world.
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