Sweet! Thank you, Aunt!
I have a feeling that these are somewhat vintage buttons that were recycled from clothing....a very common practice (back in the day) that, I am happy to say, has come back in vogue. Since my aunt's note said that she found them in her studio and because some look older than others, I'll assume that they were gathered over time.
Aren't they pretty? I gladly sorted them and added them to my stash of buttons. While I was doing that, I thought I'd share my system for storing small objects, such as buttons, needles, zippers, and so on.
Buttons have their own system because I have quite a few of them. I purchased several of these containers that have separators so that I can put each set of buttons in one space. I ended up sorting the buttons by color, then by sets. Because I've run out of separators, I've had to put two sets in the same compartment, so I put two very different sets: large buttons and small buttons that don't match could go in the same space. This way just a look will tell me how many I have of a set.
I have eight containers divided into whites, darks, golds, silvers, browns, pastels, and brights. I acquired a book of button samples several years ago and removed the buttons from the pages to put them into this system. As a result I have a container of whites that are in sets and one of whites that have no match.
When Richard built my work table, he added a shelf underneath. It makes a great space for this kind of storage: out of the way but close enough to reach when I'm working. To the left of the buttons are a couple of different covered containers that hold zippers. To the right of the buttons are two yellow drawer systems where I've stored all sorts of sewing tools: glue sticks, hand and machine needles, safety pins, straight pins, velcro, and so on. The drawers are labeled and on top of the system I've added a few containers with larger items: zipper on a roll, clasps, light bulbs, etc.
On the other side of the table, I have some large plastic containers with UFO's, unusual fabrics, and just odd things. The system works for me because I have small objects that I use often close to my usual work area and odd things where I can find them without having to go very far. Of course, fabrics and less often used items like rick rack, laces and thread are in the closet close by.
Happy organizing. Here's hoping you have sweet aunt who is cleaning out her studio.