“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.