~ 1789-1797 ~
GWI 4-B SBV.1
The GW Monogram With Linked States &
Scottish-Rite Cathedral Marks Around Edge
Hello and welcome to Isabela’s 1789 George Washington Inaugural buttons library. My name is Robert J. Silverstein, and I am the Author, Creator, and Developer of this Collector’s Library for America’s 1st Political and early Federal and State Militia buttons. The pages created in this websites Library are my personal “interests of study” while in the pursuit of collecting and studying George Washington Inaugural and New Nation Tribute buttons. For the first time in button collecting history, I was able to identify the inaugural button Artisans in 1789, who engraved the steel dies for the manufacturing of the buttons. My research led me to conclude that all these 1789-97 celebratory 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 guilds, and then afterward (socially) through the Scottish-Rite Lodge fraternities. These Artisans made all the 1789, celebratory button steel dies through commissions that were most likely accepted by Scot, and then crafted by a network of 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 Federal Government and First elected President. Even though, the steel dies were created here in America, the British manufactured most of these varieties because the states lacked the mined raw metal resources, and on-line manufacturers to manufacture them. It should be noted that there was a few limited capability manufacturers in the states who re-used fabricated metals to produce certain varieties, but they did so in very limited quantity.
Through the identification of the engravers, and the religious heraldry symbols they took from the Scottish Royal Culture, I found another Sub-Variant kind of 1789, GWI & NNT Celebratory button that have Scottish-Rite Masonic Ritual symbols. My theory is that certain Masonic Lodge Worshipful Masters had lodge buttons made for their own members. These buttons were made to celebrate their victory in their struggle for a New Scottish Republic in America. These sub-variant Masonic themed buttons were embedded with Scottish Royal culture and religious tributes that stem from ancient times. All George Washington inaugurals and NNT buttons carry operative mason geometrical attributions, but only the sub-variant lodge buttons carry Masonic symbols that are associated with their ritual practices. I believe that each lodge’s Worshipful Master chose there own lodge’s celebratory button pattern from the 1789, GWI and NNT buttons and used an allusion technique that hid these Masonic symbols in-cover of American Patriot symbols. Through the different sub-patterns found, I have come to believe that no two lodges used the same GWI or NNT celebratory pattern. This would conform to practices still used by todays lodges. Also, metal detector enthusiasts have found these Masonic sub-variant lodge buttons in specific areas of the state. With these dug button provenance I might be able to one day narrow down a specific lodge to a dug button.
Collectors should also note that wearing Lodge-Based Motif Propaganda Buttons / Pins is a customary practice even today, and this custom can be traced back to the earlier 17th century lodges in Scotland and England. In past centuries lodge members would trim their jackets with specialized buttons as a fashionable political or social statement. Today their motifs usually just represent the lodge’s chosen historical motif or geographical area (My lodge uses the Hudson River & Minuteman depiction). In the late 18th century, a Scottish-Rite Jacobite would look at it as a tribute to their hard earned victory for a New Republic in America, and also view George Washington as a respected Brother, and a humble President who was also newly elected a Grandmaster of a new Scottish-Rite lodge.
The Mission of this Website is to Promote the Hobby of Collecting
George Washington Inaugurals, New Nation Tribute, and Early American Military Buttons.
” The Goal of this Library is to Provide an Avenue for Button Collectors to
Share Pictures of their Favorite buttons in Order to Promote, Educate,
and Enhance the Hobby for Future Generations.”
I like to make button collecting fun by using the chronicles of modern day Metal Detector finds, and sharing historical knowledge with other button collectors.
By collectors sharing their new found treasures with the Library, it helps preserve historical knowledge for future collectors; and More importantly, it provides the collectors with
an avenue for continued interest.
Robert J. Silverstein
“Lux et Lux Fuit”
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Listed below are the various George Washington Inaugural & New Nation Tribute buttons, along with Post-Colonial U.S. Military buttons. In the Top Menu Bar, I wrote some Concept Note Articles on 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 you 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 metal detector enthusiast finds or collectors submissions. 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 original issues. I believe it is important for collectors and researchers to study both! 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 were only 650 specimens known. By tracking public and private sales over the years, I was able to conclude there are around 1,350 +(-) 5% of the given variant. My goal for this website is to make the GWI library complete one day for future collectors, Promote Patriotism through our history in buttons, and attract new collectors into the field of GWI & Military button collecting. Just remember, it is only with your help that I can turn this library into a valuable tool for all future American Political & Military Button collectors.
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