CC's Ribbon Trays Calif. & National Button Conventions 1999 ~ 2015

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Many collectors like to participate at State and National button conventions by submitting trays in competition for "special awards" which are written by fellow society members and clubs. This provides a way to see some of the finest buttons or simply to learn from and appreciate how the competitors put their individual trays together with their own judgement and creativity. Cash prizes or trophies or ribbons for 1-3 place are awarded. In case you are wondering about me, I've collected since 1997, joining national, state and a local clubs/societies the same year. I've served as President for the Los Angeles Button Club; am current Awards Chair, California State Button Soceiety, I serve as judge at the request of the California Button Society, National Button Society and Western Region Button Association (WRBA) and have judged at the Michigan State Button Society state show. Here's how I did in some of the competitions I entered trays in.


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2015, California State Button Society Show, San Diego, CA. First Place, Vegetable Ivory assorted. Judges said they had not seen a "matte finish" veg. ivory button, there is one on this tray as labeled, it's a newly marketed button:



2011, California State Button Society Show, Fullerton, CA. Won first place for parrot buttons and second for small brass w/cut steels buttons. Here's an image of the parrot buttons tray:

2005, National Button Society Annual Convention/Show, Burlingame, California

I submitted 5 trays for judging at this show. I was able to win 4 ribbons. See the tray slip with ribbon attached followed by a descripton of the award and a clickable link to see the whole tray. In most cases when the image comes up there will be a small + sign icon when you mouse over the image, this means you can click right on the image to make it bigger and easier to see.
August 2005, National Button Society Annual Convention/Show, Burlingame, California

I submitted 5 trays for judging at this show. I was able to win 4 ribbons. See the tray slip with ribbon attached followed by a description of the award and a clickable link to see the whole tray. In most cases when the image comes up there will be a small + sign icon when you mouse over the image, this means you can click right on the image to make it bigger and easier to see.
First Place: Award #70, Div II, 20 any size, US Uniform Buttons specialized to Police Departments. Criteria for making a good tray of buttons like this is to vary the cities, states and types of police entities you represent. Various styles including "other materials", one-piece construction, 3-pc "staff" construction are important to include as well as "stock" designs (at least one should be included in such an assortment). See whole tray, Click: Here.
First Place: Award #72, Div II, 30 any size, US Uniform Buttons specialized to 5 each Police Depts; Fire Depts; Land, Water & Air Transportation, label/mount in class number order. See whole tray, Click: Here.
Third Place: Award #74, Div II, 30 Medium, US Uniform Buttons specialized Commercial Enterprises, must have 2 buttons from Movie Studios. I believe a judging error took place in this instance. Two other trays had a button called "Aetna Rubber Mills", a medium sew-thru button. Sew-thrus in the Uniform class are rare and I believe the Aetna Rubber Mills button is an advertising piece rather than a uniform button. When competitors choose to use such a button in Div II, they should provide some information backing up their claim that such a button was worn on uniforms. In this case, I highly doubt it. I often use a button in Div II competition that some judges feel is non-standard. It's a real counter though and I have gathered information that it was worn exclusively on the uniforms of Pepsi Pavilion employees during the Chicago World's Fair. It's a realistic metalized plastic (with silk screening) Pepsi bottle cap button, very cool. And much more convincing as a uniform button than a 4-hole sew thru one such as the other competitors used on their trays. See my whole tray, Click: Here.
Second Place: Award #38, Div I, 42 Small, Antique lacy glass. I didn't win first place because the winner had more "colored glass" (transparent color) and a realistic (leaf) on their tray. My tray is pretty good because it has 4 colors and 5 different shapes. As the judges noted "keep looking for the lacy leaf", haha! See my whole tray, Click: Here.

August 2003, Annual National Button Society Show, Richmond, Va

I submitted 5 trays for judging. Each was in Div II, unifom buttons (US). I earned 4 ribbons and one tray did not receive an award, it is pictured below anyway.
First Place: Award #83, 30 medium US Uniform Buttons specialized to Police and Fire Department designs from 25 different states plus 5 free choice which could include stock and/or buttons with no specific state noted. To see this entry, click Here.

First Place: Award #85, 30 medium US Uniform Buttons specialized to Land Transportation, limited to those who had never won a ribbon in this class. To see this entry, click Here.

Third Place: Award #82, 30 medium US Uniform Buttons specialized to buttons with eagles on the face, label usage. To see this entry, click Here.

Third Place: Award #86, 30 "any size", US Uniform Buttons specialized to transportation showing only bus lines, ferry lines and defunct air lines. To see this entry, click Here.

No Award, no measle: Award #88, 30 medium, US Uniform Buttons specialized to unlisted commercial enterprises including 4 each public utilities, hotels, telephone and/or telegraph, balance free choice commercial. To see this entry, click Here.
May 2003, Annual California State Button Society Show, Visalia, CA

I entered four trays for judging. A modern asst. materials; mixed age summary; modern glass; and animals assorted materials. I was disqualified (measled) on my modern materials tray for having two antique (Div I) buttons on it, oops! I didn't place on the animals tray but I won second place on the modern glass (red, white, blue) and third place on the mixed age summary tray up against seasoned collectors proving even a newbie can successfully compete if they pay attention to the rules. A very fine tray in the summary class was disqualified due to inclusion of too many pictorial buttons. Be sure to balance your entries. See the trays below. I also was allowed to judge at this show with training probvided by Jeannie Speights and great clerking by Virginia Croly-Reinke and Bobbie Olson.
Here's a picture:



Second Place: Modern Glass, Medium Size, Specialized to Red, White & Blue buttons, 10 each of these three colors. To see this entry, click Here.

Third Place: Div IX, Sect. 23, Class 400, Various size (25), "Summary", best assortment of Sects. 1-22 (leaving out 16 and 21) with at least one but not over 3 classs from each section. Mus be labeled by section and class in numerical order. The focus of a tray like this is to try and make every button a different material. The first part of the tray are all various materials flowing into the pictorial and other classes. To see the tray click Here

Here's another picture from the Calif. Show:



Here's a picture of my friend and roommate at the show,
Virginia Croly-Reinke who clerked and won a bunch of ribbons!

August 2002, National Button Society Annual Show, Omaha, NB

I entered 11 trays for judging at National in 2002 and received ribbons on 7. Had one "measle" on a "school" uniform tray for including a button that was from an organization rather than a school, oops!

First Place: Award #67. Div II, Sects. 1 & 2 U.S. & Foreign, Classes 15 & 25. Air Transportation specialized to U.S. and Foreign, "no balance necessary". 30 medium (coat size). Extra points were awarded for shapes, embellishments, enameled metal and scarcity. Close views whole tray, closer top part, closer bottom part click: Here Whole Tray; Here Top Half; Lower half closer: Here Lower Half.

First Place: Award #60. Div II, Sect. 1, Classes 9 & 10, U.S. Uniform Buttons Specialized to Police & Fire Departments. This award was written as a memorial to the police and fire personnel who lost their lives on 9/11. The "counters" on this tray (buttons for which the competitor gets extra points) are the 5 "staff" (3-pc construction) police buttons (top row) and the two one-piece fire department buttons (4th and 5th rows). To see the tray just click Here

Merit/First Place: Award #21. Div IX (any age), Sect. 7A, Class 140. Size: Medium (30). Assorted materials, no 18th century. Label materials. Limited to less than 5 years membership in National or other button club. The trick of this award is to try for all different materials and be sure to include all 4 pictorial classes with at least one button. Shapes count, trim/embellishments and rarities add extra points. This was a "trophy award" meaning a special prize is awarded during the NBS Annual Convention breakfast. On a personal note, it's real cool to have your name called among some of the top competitors/winners during that breakfast! I won a very nicely engraved plaque provided by the Rochester Button Club as a memorial to Lillian Clark Rowley. I earned a Merit award which indicates only that there were few entries but that the tray given the Merit did warrant first-place per the judges. To see the tray just click Here.

Second Place: Award #59. Div II, U.S. Uniform, 15 each Class 5 (non-military govenmental agencies) and Class 7 (Federal Agencies). Size: Medium (30). Click Here

Second Place: Award #57. Div II, U.S. Uniform Specialized to 15 pairs, each pair one medium and one small. Metal colors must match in each pair. Include one or more pairs from US Classes: 3 National Armed Forces; 4 State Militia and/or National Guard Companies and/or Regiments; 5 Non-Miliary government agencies, corporations and commissions of cities and/or states; 6 State Seals; 7 Federal Agencies; 9 Police Depts.; 10 Fire Depts.; 11 Schools; 12 Societies; 13 Land Transportation; 14 Water Transportation; 15 Air Transportation; 16 Hunt Clubs; 19 Commercial Enterprises. Size Medium and Small (30). Click Here

Second Place: Award #36. Div. I, Sect. 3, Class 55.4. Clear and colored glass specialized to small lacy glass. Label Shapes. Size: Small (42). Somehow I was able to earn a second place ribbon despite the lack of a "realistic" shape. The only one I know of in small lacy glass is the leaf, although there might also be a small corn shape, if there is, that one is extremely rare and the leaf is quite scarce as well. I had one shape I did not see on other trays, the 6-sided one. Click Here. To see all 5 of the shapes closer, check this educational page I put together on lacy glass, just click here.

Third Place: Award #186, Div IX (any age), Sect. 14, Class 260, Varioius size. Pictorial Objects (formerly termed "inanimate objects") assorted to include at least two from each class. Most of the time one can use only "unlisted" class pictorial objects on a tray calling for this section and this is the only section that allows such representation without penalty. The author of this particular award decided to have all the class numbers represented which was fun to do for a change. I only got third place due to duplication of materials and the winners having some rarer buttons. I have two celluloids on the tray and three yellow metal types that don't have their own specific class although I don't really count the Paris Back as just a "brass" button. To see this tray, click Here


May, 2001 California State Button Society Annual Show, Visalia, CA.

Merit Award (same as first place, merit indicates that not enough people entered the award to present 1-3 place ribbons): Div II, Uniform, Materials Other Than Metal, US & Foreign Buttons, Size Medium (30). Bad picture of this tray, sorry. Click Here

Merit Award: Div II, Uniform, US Commercial Enterprises (no transportation), Size Medium (30). Click Here. A Merit Award is given when there aren't enough entries to give 1-3 place ribbons. The judges state a Merit is the same as a first-place blue ribbon. Yippie!

Third Place: Div IX, Sect. 23, Cl. 403, Size Small (42) "Summary". Click Here

First Place: Div IX, Sect. 3, Cl. 40, Mixed (35) Clear & Colored Glass Assorted. Award limited to entrants with less than 5 years button society membership. Click Here

Merit Award: Div I, Sect. 3, Cl. 55.4, Small (42) Clear & Colored Glass Specialized to Small Lacy Glass With Painted Backs. Click Here. I received a merit because the single other competitor was measled out. I had no "realistic" on the tray but I did have 5 shapes, shapes count in lacy glass as they are not that easy to find. This is the same tray shown above which I won a previous award on.


National Button Society Annual Convention, Denver, Co, August, 2001

Second Place: Celluloid, "Weeber & Weeber-Like" Designs, 25 "any". Click here.

Second Place: Div II, US Uniform Buttons, 10 Classes, 3 From Each. Click here whole tray; here close first half; here close second half. I was thrilled to come in second against a field of seasoned, mostly male competitors! Hurray for the guys and gals!


California State Button Society Convention, May, 2000, Visalia, CA

First Place: Celluloids Specialized to Weeber & Weeber-Like Designs. Click here full tray and here close-up. This tray was also submitted to National in August of 2000 and was disqualified along with the other 9 entrant's trays. The award language was not specific enough. In a subsequent year the award was strengthened and resubmitted, giving the judges several publication references to help in establishing judging criteria. Generally a better-written award will result in fewer disqualifications due to unspecific language and misunderstanding of the intent of the award.

National Button Society, Aug. 1999, Scottsdale, AZ.

First Place: Div IX, Sect. 23, Class 400. Summary. This is a summary of materials and pictorial sections. The award was limited to "first time National competitors", it was the first tray I ever submitted at National or State and I won! That was fun! Click here for whole tray. Or for close-ups: Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3



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