GWI 25
Isabela’s War Eagle With GW Monogram

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”


“Isabela’s War Eagle”

GWI 25-A ISABELA’S WAR EAGLE WITH GW MONOGRAM:  The button’s planchet is solid silver. The Size for GWI 25-A is 28mm, and has an R-6 Rarity Rating. The button is a flat one-piece button with a soldered on loop shank. The button’s pattern depicts a  Spread Eagle facing Right in the center of the button. Unlike other George Washington Inaugural Buttons, the Eagle’s head is “Not” turned towards the Olive Branch to symbolize peace. The current theory is that this button’s pattern was conceived with the thoughts of the war growing in Europe between England and France. Emblazoned across the Eagle’s chest is a crude style lined Federal Shield. In the Eagle’s left talon is a Long Stem Olive Branch with Six Petals. In the Eagle’s right talon is a Small Bundle of Arrows pointing upward to the right. Slightly above the shield, and flanking each side of the eagle’s neck is a script “GW” Monogram. Circling the edge border is 63 Raised Border Dots. The high relief pattern is set on a plain flat field with a raised dotted edge.

Two compelling reasons made me include GWI 25 into the George Washington Inaugural button family. First, even though believed to have been custom made for a specific party, it was made during Washington’s Administration. Second, the button demonstrates it’s several of its own designs for the adopted inaugural patterns. This Style Eagle is unique to this button. Looking at other GWI inaugural patterns in GWI 15, 16, 21, 23, we see they all have there own pattern variation. Second is the Eagle’s Head is shown Facing the Arrows, and not the Olive Branch. The next notable difference is in the Script Style Font used in the GW Monogram. This style is inherent to this button’s pattern. Last, is the unique Raised Dotted Edge Border. This is the only GWI button to exhibit this style artistry.

There is a strong possibility that this might be manufactured during Washington’s 2nd Administration with reference to the turmoil in Europe between England and France. There were no coins or coppers that were dated prior to this time period that depict the Eagle’s head “facing the Bundle of Arrows”. The Heraldic Silver Eagle Dollars, and 1798 Dimes (Later Period 1800-05 Dimes) are the only United States coins to be known to have the Eagle’s head facing the Arrows.






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Color: A Silvery Gray with Charcoal Highlights Between the Design.
Metal: Flat, 1-Piece, Raised Design, Solid Silver.
Size: 28mm.
Rarity: R-6 (3 known)
Present Condition: An Excavated Example, Strong Planchet Casting, Strong High Relief.
Obverse Button Analysis: This is a very nice excavated example, that has just recently surfaced into circulation. The planchet is solid, but shows some deterioration and metal loss around the perimeter’s design. The Eagle still retains an image in strong high relief, with clear inner detail of the head, body, and wings feathers. Unfortunately, the Eagle’s right talon no longer holds an image, and is worn flat into the surface. The right talon still retains a strong image though. The Script “GW” Monogram above the Liberty Shield is still easy to read, and has nice raised letters. Only the top part of the “G” is worn flat on the loop. The Liberty Shield shows a good raised outline, but the stripes within are either flat pressed, or muted into each other. This is a very crude cut shield design that was used for the manufactures die. The Laurel Stem in the Eagle’s left talon has a good image, but the relief is getting worn flat by the bottom of the stem at the petal base. The top petals are still shown nicely, but are also have some flat wear. The 63 raised dots around the border still have a clear image for about half, the others are worn smooth into the surface. The indented center dimples unfortunately seem to be flat pressed. Overall, this is a good example of this rare button, and a welcome into the 21st Century of lost button finds.
Reverse Button Analysis: This is a flat one piece button with a soldered on loop shank. The shank is broken off harshly, and the surface is scratched.

Library Records Has Limited Information WI 25 A-1:
History:   Yes    Recorded Sales Price: Present While Dug
Current Button Owner and Location:     ~ New York ~

There are three known Specimens were found at the same time in Southern Massachusetts along the Connecticut Border around 2000.

The Dale Collection.