~ GWI 24 A ~
The Heraldic Eagle With Diamond Shape Indented Border
– Most GWI Button Sections will be Closed Temporarily until I Publish –
US Military Button Sections and Menu Bar Links will be Open for Collectors and Researchers
Hello and welcome to Isabela’s 1789 George Washington Inaugural buttons website. My name is Robert J Silverstein, and I am the Author, Creator, and Developer for this Collector’s Library of American Political and Military buttons. The pages within are my “interests of study” in the pursuit of collecting and studying George Washington Inaugural and New Nation Tribute buttons. For the first time in history, I was able to identify the inaugural button Artists in 1789, who engraved the steel dies for manufacturers. My research led me to conclude that the inaugural button dies were the works of Robert Scot of Edinburg, Scotland, and his guild of Philadelphia Artisans. These men were all associated through the engraving guild, and then afterward (socially) through the Scottish Masonry Lodges. These Artisans made all the 1789, celebratory button steel dies through commissions that were most likely accepted by Scot, and then crafted by artisans under him in the various state guilds. These commission orders were directly for the purpose of American Propaganda for the celebration of our new country and President. Even though, the steel dies were created here in America, the British manufactured most of these varieties because America lacked the Quantity of natural mined metal resources and on-line manufacturers. It should be noted that there were a few manufacturers in the colonies that did produce certain varieties, but in very limited quantity.
I believe there is another kind of 1789, GWI Celebratory button that is not commonly known to seasoned GWI collectors. My newest theory is that certain Masonic Lodges had members that were apart of the engraving guild had the means of altering certain GWI & NNT dies in order to make Special Lodge Buttons for their Brothers. Wearing Propaganda Buttons is a customary practice for lodge members, and a custom that can be traced back to the earlier 17th century lodges in Scotland and England. Usually members would trim their jackets with them as a social or political statement. So, i believe that an altered GWI or NNT button would have been worn in fashion as a political statement by a Jacobite Mason lodge Fraternity Brother in 1789, and through Washington’s Administration. A Jacobite would look at it as a tribute to their hard earned New Republic in America, and also view George Washington as a respected Brother and a humble President who was a Grandmaster.
It should be noted that “not all” GWI Sub-Variants are Mason Fraternity Lodge buttons. I will demonstrate that some were though. Since there are multiple Sub-Variants that carry these marks and symbols, I have concluded that this was not just a single button for a particular lodge. These Rare Masonic Fraternity buttons should be viewed as a Sub-Variant of the commonly produced George Washington inaugural or New Nation Tribute button. The only difference would be the added Scottish Royal Culture Symbols accepted by the Scottish Masons of the era, or the ancient Religious Reference Symbols from history. In the various sections, I will highlight and show engravers maker marks and all the Scottish Royal culture symbols valued personally by Masons. I will also pinpoint certain Sub-Variant GWI buttons by the location it was dug. This will help determine a possible candidate lodge the button was used at.
In my inaugural button research to discover who the original engravers were, I learned that buttons symbol have a Scottish historical root that is usually tied into an ancient culture, or reflects a religious reference. So, I have written some Journal Articles or put together some new aggressive theories which i call Concept Notes. These are just some of my ideas from combining research on various subject matters that relate to the engravers intent by using certain symbols. These theories are provided in links located under the homepage’s Top Bar Menu. Also this Library will cover early U.S. Military buttons which i will do my best to give a detailed descriptions of the motifs. To make the website easy to use, the Library’s webpages are organized into sections by year, and button type.
All my conclusions are usually derived from internet web searches, Museum Relic Hunting, collaborating symbol meanings with other owner-collectors, and talking with metal detector enthusiasts about their finds. Any finds, ideas, and research contributions will be reflected within the buttons description and the person’s name will be highlighted underneath with any relevant conversation or information they provided. I will also give any GWI or NNT button collectors/owners the enjoyment of have their names directly under their buttons!
So, in a nut shell the website is going to expand it’s research and studies outside of inaugural buttons into other engraved objects. These art objects like the inaugural buttons were all made by Robert Scot and his Philadelphia Artisans during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I was able to conclude that all these Artisans were loyal Jacobites with Scottish Mason Fraternity ties. This will be my foundation as I try to identify and highlight all the Scottish Royal Culture symbols that were subcutaneously engraved within the design or disguised as America’s newly chosen federal insignias. These newly adopted symbols ended-up being transcribed onto wide variety of Post-Revolutionary War memorabilia and objects.
One should note, all of these engraved objects were used as Propaganda items for the Patriot Cause, and then went on to fill the need for the new Federal Government’s official insignias. Since these new symbols would be transfixed onto the country’s official documents they had to have Authority through Heraldry representation. These 18th Century Propaganda items include: Rattlesnake buttons, George Washington Inaugural buttons, New Nation Tribute buttons, State Militia Flags, Commissioned Paintings, U.S. Government Official Office Seals, World Maps, Public Seals, Cannon Plates, Indian Peace & Masonic Medals, Painted Portraits, Masonic Aprons, and various federal and state Money Plates. When i identify these ancient symbols by these Artisans, i will try to properly tie it back to a point in history which most likely reflects the Artists intentional meaning. This isn’t an easy task since certain symbols are used over and over again throughout history, but there meanings vary due to it’s cultural usage. I will try to include all the various uses throughout history in away to offer as a possible explanation.
“Lux et Lux Fuit”
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I America does not teach the sacrifice of their forefathers, it will loose it’s footings to the new immigrants who bring in their own customs.
“The Mission of Isabela’s Website is to Promote American Patriotism to our Younger Generation Through our Country’s Button History.”
– RJ Silverstein
Listed below are the various George Washington Inaugural & New Nation Tribute buttons, Post-Colonial U.S. Military buttons, and some late 18th & early 19th century engraved objects. All the various buttons and engraved objects are displayed within it’s own boxed section or as a link at the top of the homes page. When you click on the artifact section you are interested in, it will lead into the pages containing either all the known example types, or the examples that I have been able to upload so far. I will do my best to provide you with the best quality photos utilizing real specimens from either my own collection or from other collectors submissions. So, this sectional format by button type should help visitors identify the various buttons or engraved objects from the website’s archives easily. Most sections will not have reproductions unless for cross-examination purposes. I will have a separate Anniversary section to highlight the noted differences from the originals. I believe it is important for collectors and researchers to study both! Just remember to check the site often because collectors are constantly contributing information and pictures from their own collections. Also, metal detector enthusiasts have been graciously offering pictures of their new finds. One last note, anyone who own a George Washington Inaugural button I ask that you please take a few minutes and photo your button. I am trying to catalog every known specimen to exist! Since I began collecting GWI buttons 20 years ago there was only 650 specimens known. By tracking sales over the years by either eBay or auction houses, I was able to conclude there are around 1,350. My goal for this website is to make the GWI library complete one day for future collectors, and also attract new collectors into the field of GWI & Military button collecting. Just remember, it is only with your help with contributions of information and pictures that I can turn this website’s library into a valuable tool for all future American Political Button collectors and researchers of engraved historical memorabilia.
|* 1790 – 1815 *
U. S. Cap Plates
|* 1791-1793 *
Do Not Tread On Me
Rev War Buttons & Flags