The history and evolution of fashion over the centuries is reflected in a tiny accessory that has been moulded since ancient times to mirror the trends and artistic styles of the moment, from classicism and baroque to Art Nouveau, art deco, pop art and surrealism: the button.

All manner of materials have been used throughout time, both natural – bone, shell, metal and terracotta – and artificial ones such as celluloid and resin.

The exhibition's curator, Leda Siliprandi Partesotti, selected the buttons on display from her personal collection and arranged them chronologically from the Middle Ages to the 1950s, when handmade buttons were substituted by industrially produced ones.