* GWI 19 A & B *
The George Washington
Pater Patriae Inaugural Portrait Button

 

GWI 19-A, B, & C PATER PATRIAE: The Pater Patriae is a portrait themed George Washington inaugural celebatory button. There is a both a coat and oval shape cuff variant. GWI 19 has two known coat size variants. There is believed to be less then 10 known GWI 19 & B buttons to exist. The size for both GWI 19-A & B is 25mm. The relative value factor appears to be high regardless of the lack of Robert Scot or his Philadelphia maker marks as found in other George Washington inaugural buttons. GWI 19-A has a (undetermined) brass or copper shell with a pewter back and an iron loop shank. One specimen was reported to have a bone back. GWI 19-B is a copper shell which has a led filled back which was silvered or tinned sometimes. GWI 19-C is an unusual Breast Plate Oval shape button featuring George Washington as younger war time revolutionary. GWI 19-C approximately measuring 20mm x 12mm. The reverse shank on GWI 19-C is also reportedly and integral part of the cast instead of a soldered on loop shank. GWI 19-D a small portrait cuff button, but the exact dimensions are unknown to us at this time. 

     In GWI 19-A & B the button depicts a military bust of Washington posing to the right. He is wearing a 1770’s dress coat, and is depicted as the Commander & Chief of the Continental Army. Washington is wearing a Cocked Hat (Tricorn) with a Military Cockade over his left eye . Washington’s title appears to be stamped in Roman Font capital letters. On the right side of the button is the word “GENERAL”, and the left side is the word “WASHINGTON”. Below the military bust of Washington, are two thick incuse horizontal lines with the motto “Pater Patriae” phrased in-between.

GWI 19 A & C have an R-7 Rating, and Variety type B has an R-5 Rating. The smaller Cuff Link size for GWI 19-C has an R-6 Rating.

*Collector Note: Dewey Albert rated GWI 19 an R-6, with only 3-5 known, but Cobb knew of six making it an R-5.

 

 

 

GWI 19-B THE PATER PATRIAE

Color: Brass Yellow.
Metal: 2-Piece, Impressed Design, Copper Shell, Pewter Back, Iron Shank.
Size: 25mm. 86.1 Grains
Rarity: R-6
Variety Type: GWI 19-B Copper Shell.
Present Condition: A Non Dug Specimen, Strong Planchet Condition Remains, A Strong Impression Remains.
Obverse Button Analysis: This button has been lightly cleaned in the past, but has started to re-tone nicely. The copper planchet is solid and flat, and shows no very little blemish to the surface metal. There are a few light scratches to the surface, but nothing harsh that detracts from the GW’s portrait image. The Cocked Hat, and the wig underneath still displays a strong image, with all the inner details lines. The Cockade on the front of the Hat has a strong outline with a good image also . The Roman Font capital letters for Washington’s military title has a nice deep strike, and the letters are easy too read. All the inner definition lines within the letters are still present, except for the “A” in WASHINGTON. The horizontal lines above and below the bottom legend (PATER PATRIAE) have a nice deep strike, and show the inner horizontal definition lines clearly. As with all the known examples, there appears to be an uneven thickness and symmetry in the thickness and cut of the lines. This probably is the result of the die not being properly cut due to a poor measurement consideration for the button’s diameter. The bottom Catchphrase, “PATER PATRIAE” still shows a nice deep strike, except for the “R” in PATER, and the “P” in PATRIAE. Aside from the poor die measurement for the bottom Catchphrase, this button is an excellent example for this rare variety.
Reverse Button Analysis: Medium Gray Color. This button has a soldered on Iron loop shank. The shank is original, straight, and intact.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 19 B-1:
History:       No          Recorded Sales Price:  Yes
Current Button Owner and Location:   Texas

Previously the Frent Collection.

 

 

 

 

GWI 19-B THE PATER PATRIAE

Color: A Deep Reddish Brown with Golden Highlights.
Metal: 3-Piece, Impressed Design On Copper Shell, Reported Bone Back?.
Size: 25mm. 85.4 Grains.
Rarity: R-6
Variety Type: GWI 19-B Copper Shell Led Filled Back
Present Condition: A Non Dug Specimen, A Strong Planchet Condition, A Strong Impression Remains.
Obverse Button Analysis: This is an extraordinary specimen that retained most of it’s original pattern. The brass shell appears to be solid, but it does show some metal loss with a small notch above the “W” in WASHINGTON. Fortunately, it doesn’t reach in far enough to effect the image of the Cocked Hat or “W”. As with all of Cobb’s buttons, this has been lightly cleaned by him, but it still retains a nice tone. The surface shows some light scratching and wear. The brass is also tarnished in the field around the word, “GENERAL” the Side of the hat, and by the “NG” in his name. The inner details of the facial features don’t show a strong image, but there is still a good outline for the facial features. His military uniform  is the strong point of this button’s pattern. The lines show a deep impression and a clear image. There is a spot of flat wear in the middle of the bust, but fortunately all the surrounding lines fill out the whole picture. The Cocked Hat has a strong strike and a clear image. Unfortunately, in this specimen, the wig underneath the hat is practically undetectable. The military cockade on the hat is barely noticeable, and only shows a light foot print. The Roman Font capital letters for Washington’s military title, “GENERAL WASHINGTON” appears to be another strong asset of the button. The letters show a nice deep strike, along with good letter lines. The horizontal lines above and below the bottom catchphrase, “PATER PATRIAE”, have nice wide line strikes, and still retain their inner definition lines. The catchphrase, PATER PATRIAE is only half readable. The “PATRIAE”  is barely readable. As with all examples of this variety, there is an uneven thickness and symmetry in the lines and letters used in the catchphrase. This is the result of the original manufacture’s die not being measured properly for the die.
Reverse Button Analysis:  This button has a pewter backing with an Iron Loop Shank. Medium Gray/Silver Color. Cobb Label on Back.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 19 B-2:
History:      Yes          Recorded Sales Price:               Yes
Current Button Owner and Location:                    No


2003 Stacks Sale.~

Harold Cobb/Descendants 1957.~
Ruby Darrohn’s Family Heirloom.~

Cobb obtained his specimen in 1957 from Ruby Darrohn of New York. Her family was fortunate enough to own *Two as family heirlooms. His first attempt at acquiring one failed, when it was sold to a family friend. His second try was successful, working through an antique dealer who swapped furniture for the button. It ended up working out better for Cobb, because the piece he got was described by the owner as “…a better one than the first one, as the lettering is much plainer…I did not clean it at all”.~ 

 

 

GWI 19 THE PATER PATRIAE

Color: A Light Polished Brass Yellow with Verdigris spots.
Metal: Convex, 1-Piece, Tombac Style Impressed Design, Gilt Brass.
Size: 25mm.
Rarity: R-6
Variety Type: GWI 19, Brass Sub Variety.
Present Condition: A Non Dug Specimen, A Good Planchet Condition Remains, A Strong Impression Remains.
Obverse Button Analysis:
This recent example surfaced in an 2005, and it’s provenance was established to be from an old Virginia family that had passed it down as a family heirloom over the centuries. Unlike the others examples of this variety, this planchet has a slightly convex obverse. The brass planchet is solid, but shows some metal loss with a chip in the middle. The surface color has some kind of chemical discoloration from using improper cleaning solvents. Somehow the metal’s color oxidized and turned a greenish-yellow throughout the whole surface. As for the planchet, there are a few light scratches and abrasions to the surface, but they seem to have blended in nicely over time with the button’s patina. Washington’s facial features and military coat is unfortunately worn flat, and lacks a clear detailed image. His cocked hat has a poor impression, and shows a lot of flat wear. The military cockade on the front of the hat is worn smooth into the surface. The Roman Font capital letters for “GENERAL WASHINGTON” only retains a light foot print impression, but the letters are still easy to see and read for the most part. The inner letter lines are completely absent. The horizontal lines above and below, “PATER PATRIAE”, still have a nice impression, and retain a clear image of the inner definition horizontal lines. The bottom catchphrase, “PATER PATRIAE” still has a nice deep strike, except for the end, “RIAE” in PATRIAE. Unfortunately the word, PATER PATRIAE wasn’t specially cut within the die to fit the planchets diameter properly. This seems to be the case for this variety. Obviously this button wasn’t copied by different Artisans, or this mistake would have been corrected and shown in other examples. I do not see this button ever coming back to the market for GW collectors. On the good side, it will be seen by thousands of visitors a year to George Washington’s home in MT. Vernon.

Reverse Button Analysis: This button is slightly concave, and has a Tomback Style loop shank soldered on top of a raised dome. The surface is smooth, and free of any harsh scratches and abrasions.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 19 B-3:
History:    Partial          Recorded Sales Price:             No

Current Button Owner and Location:         ~ Virginia ~

George Washington’s Home at Mt Vernon, Virginia.~
Added to Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens.~

Other Possible Examples of GWI 19:

Mr. Robert Arnell of Long Island, New York supposedly had a Copper face with a bone back and catgut shank, this specimen is subject to question, and its present location is unknown.~
The only one known of this construction was described as having a Silvered Copper face.~

Thomas Owens of Gorham, Maine acquired a specimen that is somewhat worn, from a woman in his home town.~

One example is know to have Bone Back, Cat Gut Shank.~ ex. Flud~

Accounting for the original examples known in the 20th Century: Ruby Darrohn (2), Piercy (1), Flud (1), Albert (1), and the Smithsonian (1).

 

GWI 19-B THE PATER PATRIAE

Color: A Rusty Brown.
Metal: 2-Piece, Impressed Design, Copper Shell, Led Back Tinned or Silvered Iron Shank.
Size: 25mm. 
Rarity: R-6
Variety Type: GWI 19-B Copper Shell Pewter Back
Present Condition: A Dug Specimen, A Good Planchet Condition, A Fair Impression Remains.

Obverse Button Analysis: 
Reverse Button Analysis: This button has a loop shank.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 19 B-2:
History:       Yes      Recorded Sales Price:          Yes

Current Button Owner and Location:      No

 

GWI 19-B THE PATER PATRIAE

Color: Brass Yellow.
Metal: -Piece, Impressed Design On A Brass Loop Shank.
Size: mm.
Rarity: R-6
Variety Type: GWI 19.
Present Condition: A Non Dug Specimen, A Good Planchet Condition, A Strong Impression Remains.
Obverse Button Analysis:
Reverse Button Analysis: This button has a loop shank.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 19 B-2:
History:        No           Recorded Sales Price:         No

Current Button Owner and Location:           No

 

 

 
GWI 19 C THE PATER PATRIAE

Color: A Nicely Aged Greenish Brown Patina
Metal: Flat, 1-Piece Impressed Design, Brass.
Size: Oval Shape, 20mm x 12mm.
Rarity: R-7
Variety Type: A Younger Washington / Fluid Style.
Present Condition: A Dug Specimen, A Good Planchet Condition Remains, A Good Impression Remains.
Obverse Button Analysis: Top Kudos for the metal detector hobbyist that discovered this rare beauty. This style button was thought to be lost to time until a few years ago. The brass planchet is solid and flat, and shows no metal fatigue, loss, or deterioration. The button luckily has no deep scratches or abrasions, but it does have microporosity spread evenly throughout surface. The portrait of Washington still retains a nice deep impression, and shows good fluid lines for his facial features and garments. The tricorn hat upon the young Washington’s head also shows a good image, with clean fluid lines.There is a Wig underneath his hat, but is hard to see. The military gorget with the ribbon and bow still has an outline impression, but not really a clear image of it’s design. At the bottom of the button is Washington’s first initial “G.” and last name, “WASHINGTON”. These letters are all in Roman Style capital block letters. Unfortunately, most of the letters are decayed and worn flat into the surface. The letter lines lack clear edges, and the “INGT” in WASHINGTON is just unreadable. Overall this is a wonderful new discovery with a great fluid design. This is a real welcome into this variety.
Reverse Button Analysis: This might possibly be a One-Piece Casting for the Reverse Shank. (The Shank is also an integral part of the button itself). Shank is reportedly original, straight, and intact.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 19 C-1:
History:   Yes          Recorded Sales Price:            Yes
Current Button Owner and Location:                   No

This was recently discovered in the 1990’s, by the use of a metal detector.~

 

 
GWI 19-C PATER PATRIAE CUFF LINK

Color: A Golden Brown.
Metal: Slightly Domed, 1-Piece, Impressed Design, Stamped Brass.
Size: Oval Shape Cuff Link Size.
Rarity: R-6
Variety Type: Younger Washington / Fluid Style.
Present Condition: A Dug Specimen, A Good Planchet Condition, A Strong Impression Remains.
Obverse Button Analysis: This is an extraordinary example of a gentleman’s cuff link from the late 1790’s. The planchet is oval and slightly domed. This specimen is corroded from ground action, but fortunately shows no chipping or metal loss. The surface appears to be granular, and shows signs of micro porosity. The portrait still has a clear image and a good strike impression. The facial features and garments still show nice fluid lines. The tricorn hat still retains a deep strike outline, but there are a few spots smooth wear to the image. Underneath the tricorn hat he appears to be wearing a gentleman’s wig, which only retains a very light impression, but an image remnant is there. Lightly stamped around the young Washington’s neck is a military gorget tied with a ribbon and bow. The ribbon is not clearly defined, but the bow is still present and retains a good image. At the bottom of the button is Washington’s first initial, and last his name, “G. WASHINGTON”. This is in all Roman Font capital block letters. Unfortunately, most of the letter lines are decayed, or worn smooth into the surface. Overall this is a wonderful example, with a great design. This size is a real welcome into this variety.
Reverse Button Analysis: This is a flat one-piece button with a loop shank. Shank is Original and intact.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 19 C-2:
History:        Yes          Recorded Sales Price:            Yes

Current Button Owner and Location:                  No

This was Excavated in Pennsylvania in the 1990’s.~ 

 

 

GWI 19 C PATER PATRIAE CUFF LINK

Color: An Ocher of Brown, Green and Yellow.
Metal: Flat, 1-Piece, Impressed Design, Brass.
Size: Oval Shape, Cuff Link Size.
Rarity: R-6
Variety Type: Younger Washington / Fluid Style.
Present Condition: A Dug Specimen, A Fair Planchet Condition Remains, A Good Impression Remains.
Obverse Button Analysis:
This is another great example of this rare cuff link that still shows a clear image of the original pattern. The brass planchet shows fatigue and is corroded due to ground action. The surface has a nice even greenish brown color shade. Most likely this specimen was buried in or near ground water. The portrait still retains a nice deep strike impression, and has a good image of the facial features and garments. The tricorn hat has a nice outline with clear fluid lines. The gentleman’s wig underneath the tricorn hat is kind of lost in idenity. The military gorget tied around Washington’s neck still has a decent impression and image. The ribbon and bow holding the gorget also has a clear image. At the bottom of the button is Washington’s first initial, and last name, “G. WASHINGTON”. This is easily readable, but the letters are corroded and decayed. Since there isn’t to many examples of these cuff links, this example would probably be considered above average.

Reverse Button Analysis: This is a flat one piece button with a loop shank. Shank is Original and intact.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 19 C-3:
History:      Yes          Recorded Sales Price:         Yes
Current Button Owner and Location:                    No

This was Excavated in South Carolina.~

 

 

 

GWI 19-C PATER PATRIAE CUFF LINK

Color: A Nicely Brown Ocher.
Metal: Flat, 1-Piece, Impressed Design, Brass.
Size: Oval Shape, Cuff Link Size.
Rarity: R-6
Variety Type: Younger Washington / Fluid Style.
Present Condition: A Dug Specimen, A Fair Planchet Condition, A Poor Impression Remains.
Obverse Button Analysis:
The interesting thing about this unique cuff button is that it must have been available in both the northern and southern states. We have excavated piece in both areas. Obviously this button has seen better days. Corrosions and decay has gotten the better side of this cuff link. There is a viewable image, and a clear understanding of what we are looking at, but mostly all the details of the design are lost. This makes a nice memento, and should be considered for a collection of George Washington buttons because of it’s rarity.

Reverse Button Analysis: This is a one-piece button with a loop shank. Shank is reported to be original and intact.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 19 C-4:
History:       Yes          Recorded Sales Price:               Yes
Current Button Owner and Location:                    No

This was Excavated in Maryland.~ 

 

*

GWI 19-C PATER PATRIAE CUFF LINK

Color: An Algae Green Patina.
Metal: Flat, 1-Piece, Impressed Design, Brass.
Size: Oval Shape, Cuff Link Size.
Rarity: R-6
Variety Type: Younger Washington Fluid Style.
Present Condition: A Non Dug Specimen, A Fair Planchet Condition, A Poor Impression Remains.
Obverse Button Analysis:
This buttons unusual patina makes me wonder what it was buried in for the last 200 years. (I feel if someone said it was dug in New Jersey, I would understand lol). The planchet is oval and slightly domed. The planchet definitely shows signs of metal fatigue, but no metal loss or chipping. The button is heavily corroded and does have micro porosity all over the surface. From the photographs, there appears to be no scratches or abrasions effecting the surface or the image. The portrait still retains a nice foot print impression, and shows the lines for the facial features and garments. The tricorn hat upon the young Washington’s head still shows an image with an adequate outline. The gentleman’s wig is barely noticeable. The Ribbon and Bow around the young Washington’s neck is unfortunately unidentifiable. At the bottom, Washington’s first initial and last name, “G. WASHINGTON” is unreadable and corroded/decayed into the surface. Overall the button has a recognizable image, but unfortunately corrosion took a foot hold and destroyed the specimens image.

Reverse Button Analysis: This is a one-piece button with a loop shank. Shank is reportedly original, straight, and intact.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 19 C-5:
History:      Yes          Recorded Sales Price:                Yes
Current Button Owner and Location:                     No

This was the 2nd one to be excavated in South Carolina.~

Other Possible Examples of GWI 19:

Mr. Robert Arnell of Long Island, New York supposedly had a Copper face with a bone back and catgut shank, this specimen is subject to question, and its present location is unknown.~ (This would be like Flud’s unique example.

-Thomas Owens of Gorham, Maine acquired a specimen that is somewhat worn, from a woman in his home town.~
-Albert’s Plate Specimen.
-One example is known to have Bone Back, Cat Gut Shank.~  Fluds’~
-The Netherland’s Sale Lot#1086 which went to Cobb’s friend Piercy.
-Ruby Darrohn had two passed down as Family heirlooms/ One went to Cobb.

*Accounting for the original examples known in the 20th Century: Ruby Darrohn (2), Piercy (1), Flud (1), Albert (1), and the Smithsonian (1).
*Ownership has changed hands for most of these specimens.