Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)

Maker: Attributed to Jean Clemént (French, 1900–1949)

Maker: Attributed to Roger Jean-Pierre (French, active 1934–1976)

Date: fall 1938

Culture: French

Medium: synthetic, metal

Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1955

Accession Number: 2009.300.1499a–i


Several of these buttons and fasteners were shown in "A Slice of Schiaparelli: Surrealism in Fashion from the Brooklyn Museum." Patricia Mears named and dated them as follows:
"Tinsel Candlestick" jacket fasteners, winter 1937-38
"Playing Card" emblem buttons, fall-winter 1939
"Ship Tacking Hinge" jacket pins, ca. 1935
"Crown" button, fall 1937
"Victorian mirror" suit pins, spring 1938
"Cricket" jacket pins, fall 1938

Yet another example of the fall 1938 pagan collection in the Brooklyn Museum's collection, these ornamental cricket buttons are a quintessential representation of the collection's theme as a whole and of Schiaparelli's Surrealist sensibility. Schiaparelli designed clothing as an expression of her Surrealist aesthetic that included iconography that would normally be considered odd or even repugnant in association with something to be worn, for instance the well-known lobster dress of 1937 worn by the Duchess of Windsor and the plentiful insects of the pagan collection, seen on jewelry, hats, as decoration and, as seen here, fasteners. The interloping insects would seem to be crawling on high-style clothing and jewelry, the ultimate Surrealist declaration.