Mother of pearl & horn openwork buttons

Difficult to believe that until the turn of the 19th century, the button was a relatively rare luxury product. Available only to a small part of the population and comparable to jewellery, they were made from precious materials or delicately painted or even worked with sumptuous braids. The only exceptions were for military uniforms which received buttons made from copper.

Mass production started between 1800 and 1830 specifically in England. In France, the town of Méru (already mentioned in the scissor chapter) had the largest production of mother-of-pearl buttons in Europe between 1860 and the First World War. But the factories in Méru also used other materials – they also produced large quantities of buttons made of horn, vegetable ivory, bone and jet, and also more modern materials like Celluloid, Bakelite and Erinoid.

The Museum of Mother of Pearl in this town is a great place to discover how buttons were made.


    Less than € 50.00 to obtain :
  • All gifts
  • GIFT: six Sajou postcards

All gifts

Professional Access

To order on line,
register PROFESSIONAL version
of our website.

Click here.

Sajou store in Paris

47, rue du Caire 75002 Paris

01 42 33 42 66

boutique Sajou à Paris

Métro : Sentier
Bonne Nouvelle

Opening hours 
Monday to Saturday 
10.00am to 7.00pm

Discover the Sajou Paris shop

Haberdashery book

Haberdasheries of Yesteryear,
by Frederique Crestin-Billet

in both English and French.

Livre mercerie de collection Mercerie d'Antan

You can find it here.
Read the article on our blog.