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“I have always been fascinated by the infinite variability and varieties of style, design, colours, shapes and manufacturing techniques used in the production of buttons – long since discontinued," she said.

"I have trawled many fairs and brocantes in France for buttons including the market at Clignancourt in Paris as well as those in Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpelier, Nîmes, Avignon and L’Isle-sur-la Sorgue.”

From France to Etwall

Lloyd Marlow’s collection of more than 12,000 buttons covers the 18th to 20th centuries and 18 different sub-categories including ceramics, horn, brass, Bakelite, glass, silver, diamante, steel, gold, enamel and vegetable ivory.

Keeping just one button for sentimental reasons, she has decided to sell through Hansons in Etwall, Derbyshire on April 5. The collection has a global estimate of £14,000 but individual lots will be priced from just £10.

Victoria Sheppard, who catalogued the collection for Hansons, said: “The buttons are exquisite, almost jewel-like. They shimmer in every possible colour, design and material. This is a connoisseur’s collection which includes in particular some exceptional Art Deco buttons.”