~ 1789-1797 ~
GWI 4-B SBV.1
The GW Monogram With Linked States &
Scottish-Rite Cathedral Marks Around Edge
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 website. The purpose of providing this collection of inaugural buttons is to provide a starting point and an avenue for research into certain varieties of George Washington inaugural and New Nation Tribute buttons. With the valuable help from Dale Hawley, I was able to compile and compare a wide variety of Rattlesnake, GW inaugurals, and New Nation tribute button specimens. By doing this we were able to document three new GWI varieties and several sub-variants of other varieties. It is our intent to infuse this website with modern collecting information on 18th Century inaugural and military buttons. We believe for the first time, we can provide information based research as to the intent and purpose behind the Revolutionary War Rattlesnake buttons, and 1789 George Washington inaugural & New Nation Tribute buttons. We believe the Scottish Revolutionary Artisans contribution in the creation of America’s Federal insignia has been greatly overlooked; and possibly been designed purposefully that way by the Scottish-Artisans. We believe that the Scottish Artisans used the “Allusion technique” to place a Scottish Royal Culture, Religious Authority and Heraldry purposefully in-case America failed as a self-governing nation.
Collaborating with Dale Hawley, we were able to distinguish 3 different types of 1789-1797 Commemorative buttons made for America’s inaugural celebration. This would be: an English Produced Set, A Scottish-American Engraving Student Renditions, and Special Set for George Washington and his Council of Scottish Revolutionaries Network. The first set was made in England as a Propaganda Commemorative button for the American market. Since, Scottish heraldry is cloaked in America’s Federal insignia, there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the original GWI & NNT dies were engraved in America by Robert Scot and his Scottish Artisans he umbrella’d in the guilds. By the Scottish Artisans not sending die drawing, it would guarantee the Allusions within the designs are executed as intended on the buttons. These engraved dies with Scottish-Allusion was then shipped across the Atlantic with payment and produced in England.
England would have offered the necessary access to established raw material processing from mine ownership, the metallurgy of blank copper & brass planchets, and then the engraving production itself by button manufacturers. Even though more modern button fabrication existed, we believe allowing for the simplistic production of the die strike technique helps further reinforce exact die execution. The blank reverse for America’s first Commemorative could have also been a foresight by the Scottish-Americans to ensure their New Republic’s history is free of British enabled assistance.
Researcher’s note: In this era, elite families in the 13 States didn’t own raw material processing mines, or the complex metallurgy process in place for complex alloy mixing. American Colonists were very limited in their manufacturing abilities, and metal workings were all mostly crude and functional for use by Coppersmiths. This forgotten aspect is something collectors should calculate in their research and realize this would not happen for many years to come in America.
The transatlantic shipping time would also explain why GWI 1-A was engraved with the original planned inaugural date. They could not simply correspond to the British producers and ask for an English die to be cut for mainly the reason stated above, but also getting a New Die would never meet the production timetables already in the works. The original dies were done and sent. One thing is for certain, with the long established British partnerships in the colonies clothiers, when these 1789 celebratory buttons hit the eastern seaboard’s wharfs it went directly into the garment industries. I would venture to say, 99% of surviving specimens are made in England. I think that is a good thing for GWI & NNT button collectors, Birmingham made the best buttons in this era.
The second identified type of 1789, George Washington inaugural button’s planchet was constructed by a lathe and is noted by the circles on the reverse. As of date, there are only 2 known varieties (GWI 1 & 4) which display lathe-turn reverse. Fortunately, there are several specimens of each variety for collectors to study. Unlike, the highly crafted 1789, GWI inaugural & NNT Commemorative buttons produced in England, these buttons show an in-efficient and crude manor of construction. This button is a little more complicated in confirming its makers, or the intent for the button’s purpose other then student engraving artisan practicing their craft.
When studying these specimens collectors should note the advanced engraving skills displayed in these buttons are above folk-art level, but also not equal too the skills of Master Engraver. There is no clear-cut tie of these student apprentices to the Scottish Artisans who made the original 1789 dies. But collectors could note the similar technique of engraver cut styles which match the Master dies produced by the Scottish Master Artisans.
Following some crazy conspiracy theory, sorry,
Following the evidence of Scottish Artisan supplied federal insignia, we believe the original dies were contracted through Robert Scot who’s fellow Scottish-Artisans guild workers completed other GW inaugural & NNT designs. Hence, these are the Scottish Apprentices who are fine-tuning their craft for other commission work. Their skills would need to have an expected style of Artisanship and skill level requirement to do work under Robert Scot’s guild umbrella. Yeah, thought i might mention the truth at some point.
Collectors should note that other nationalities had Master engravers which operated throughout the colonies. the different nationality Master Artisans & their styles would have been known to each other, and collaborated their ideas through friendships through-out the network of Masonic lodges. The neighborhood lodge provided a sort of welcoming for all cultural & religions to join in the Spirit of a New Era to utilize each others talents on various projects. One could say, patriots energized constructively in their own network to establish America. Positive sentiment to reach an objective. One could parallel 1969 Moon landings enormous efforts.
is what Dale and I believe to be a Scottish-American Engraving Student’s Rendition.> Lathe turn reverse
At this point, the most common variety dug specimens carry little monetary value. Most collector’s enjoy the sentiment a George Washington inaugural button offers in their collection. It provides their collecting soul with red, white and blue patriotism. I think that is important for a collector to have, and I Celebrate these Revolutionaries and George Washington could be apart of that. Un-dug specimens can carry huge auction figures. This should not be a deterrent to a moderate income collector’s entry, but a reinforcement to the importance of the historical role all of these buttons played in either a Network or Propaganda statement.
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.
If you would like to sell your G. Washington inaugural button Tax & Commission Free, Please call (845) 561-2375
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