Button as Signature
The humble button, if well preserved, can be a signature of the maker’s hand. Compare the button by Romero Antoniazzi (1862 – 1925 Milan )with that by his student Alfred Lanini (1891-1956 San Jose, California). Lanini adopted many Antoniazzi traits; both buttons show slightly squat proportions and a slight flare at the point where it joins the back. Both also have a narrow edge radius rather than the more usual chamfer. Other characteristics that Lanini adopted from his teacher were the the high beaded edge work, the spirit varnish, the horizontal brush strokes and a similar purfling. The ebony locating pin, compass point in the center of the button and the long darts across its base are Lanini’s own conscious trademarks. A very consistent maker, he used these devices from early in his career until the end.