Collecting Refined


Robert Scot & Philadephia Artisans Create Special Steel Engraved Dies

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With some collaborative authenticity verification with Dale, I was able to distinguish 3 different types of 1789-1797 Commemorative GWI & NNT buttons which were produced for America’s inaugural celebration. The first would be an English Produced Set. The second is what we view to be American Made Apprentice Practice Renditions. The 3rd is an unpublicized Special Masonic Celebratory Set which was specifically intended to give tribute to the men who worked as soldiers in a constructive Masonic Network to establish Independence. These were the un-uniformed soldiers which were used as pawns by George Washington, the Founders, and the Council of Enlightened Visionaries.

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       The first set was produced in England or Scotland at Canongate Lodge as a Propaganda Celebratory Commemorative button for the American market place. The original steel dies were engraved here in America by Robert Scot, and his master Scottish Artisans that were umbrella’d under his name in various guilds. With the need of maintaining America’s Sovereignty in the future, it was decided by Robert Scot not to just send the English manufacturers the various GWI & NNT artist renditions. This purposeful act would guarantee the heraldry and religious authority “Allusions” within the designs were executed as intended on the buttons. These engraved dies with the purposefully placed Scottish-Allusion was then shipped across the Atlantic with payment, and then produced in England by Scottish Manufacturing ties in both the raw material and manufacturing operations. We also believe by not back marking the buttons, America would have a un fettered birth and fresh start in a New Era of Enlightened Government.

     In this post-revolution era, England was able to offer the American-Scottish Revolutionaries the aristocratic ties to prominent counterparts either by bloodline or business associations. This could also be said about the Master Engraver Robert Scot who acted as International Guild President. Scot’s father was also the founder of Canongate Lodge in Scotland who had complete influence over all European Artist Guilds. The Lodge was easily able to have the proper equipment to produce all GWI celebratory buttons. To understand the dynamics of this task, one has to open their lens and understand the relationships of the era. First, there would be a need to secure the necessary access to established raw material processing from mine ownership. This would be the metallurgy of blank copper & brass planchets. Second, (would be a little more simpler because of the crude style of manufacturing required) is the engraving production of the button by the manufacturers. Collectors of GWI & NNT buttons should note, 99% of all surviving specimens were made in England. On a personal note, I believe that is a good thing for GWI & NNT Button collectors; In this Era, Birmingham made the Best buttons in the world.


Robert’s Note: In this era, the elite families who controlled commerce in the 13 States didn’t own raw material processing mines, or complex metallurgy manufacturing for production of complex alloys. The American Colonists themselves were very limited in their manufacturing abilities, and all metal workings were mostly crude. Commoners who were Blacksmiths and Coppersmiths produced basic functional items for the needs of the colonists. This forgotten aspect is something button researchers should keep in mind while doing while formulating hypothesis. This raw material mining and manufacturing dynamic would not happen for many years to come in America.

 Speculation: 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 Artisans to design a new die to be cut. Also, having a New Die designed and cut would never meet existing production timetables already in the works. The original die for GWI 1-A were done and sent. One thing is for certain, with the long established British partnerships within the colonies clothiers, when these celebratory buttons  hit the eastern seaboard’s wharfs it went directly into the garment industries for immediate dispersement to substratum America as a Sovereign nation here and abroad. Jan 14, 2018. 11:02pm

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GWI 1-C Scottish-American Practice Rendition

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       The second identified type of 1789 George Washington inaugural button is what Dale and I have come to believe are Scottish-American Apprentice Practice Renditions. As collector’s studied these unique variants in the past they were puzzled as to the nature of the button. They understood it was of period, but not matching the Master engravers associated skill level with the dies sent to England for production. Unfortunately, being cautious past GWI collectors aired on the side of caution in a market with technological breakthroughs in forgeries. So, these of period specimens which display the crude style mechanics of a lathe turn back should be looked at as the “Only period representation of an American-made GWI button.”

      As of date, there are only 3 known varieties (GWI 1-A, 4-A, 13-E) which display lathe-turn reverse, but there can be others not in the public view as of date. Fortunately for serious GWI collectors there are several specimens of each variety known for study. It may not equal the craftsmanship, but I like the idea of American made for my collection. I believe Dale shares that sentiment.

     These student artisan renditions are a little more complicated in discovering the true names of their makers. What I can offer honest researchers would be to look into very early 19th century insignia and buttons made for our Diplomats and Army in it’s infancy. Look for the reflection of their Master’s skills in them by the reflection of the Scottish-backed Artisan’s design, not the mechanics or quality of the button itself. 

     As for collectors fortunate enough to own these student renditions, you should note the advanced engraving skills displayed in these buttons are above folk-art level, but also not equal too the skills of their teachers. So, on faith you have to understand there will never be a clear-cut tie of these student’s names as apprentices to the Scottish Artisans Masters who made the original 1789 dies. What you can do is start crossing other later date Federal insignias, later date memorabilia, Wax seals, ect… Look for similar techniques of engraver cut styles which match the known Master engravers of the 1789-97 dies and colonial money which demonstrates Robert Scot’s anti-currency techniques.

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Robert’s Note: Following the evidence of Scottish Artisan supplied federal insignia, we believe the original dies were contracted through Robert Scot who’s fellow Scottish-Artisans and other nationality guild artisans completed the other GWI & NNT designs. Hence, these student renditions are apprentices who are fine-tuning their craft for other commission work ahead. Their skills would need to have an expected style and understanding of Scottish Royal Culture and Ancient Religious history to match not only the skill level requirement, but comprehension to do work under Robert Scot’s Master Artisan umbrella. Being unbiased in our conclusions, we completely understand that other foreign nationalities in the New Republic had their own working Master Artisans operating on the same skill level as the Scottish and they were represented throughout the 13 colonies. With the promise of a new Enlightened Era, these multinational Master Artisans & their signature styles would have been known to each other, and collaborated their ideas in a positive network through friendships, and association in their own neighborhood Masonic lodges. The Masonic lodge provided a sort of welcoming mat and vehicle for all cultural & religions to join in the Spirit of constructiveness; in which they were able to utilize each others talents on various projects. One could say, Artisan Patriots energized constructively in their own neighborhood base network to promote a New Dawn. Infusing their knowledge of history and religion to give the necessary qualities in preparedness for the day America will move out of it’s infancy and into adulthood on the world’s stage. One could parallel the sentiment by the huge undertaking of the men who made it possible to land on the Moon for the 1st time in 1969. Now we are going into the galactic age with dreams of the colonization of Mars.




The 3rd recognized GWI & NNT button dies were also made here in America by the same Scottish Artisans who had the foresight to infuse knowledge and embed religions in a multi-culture appeal to the future melting pot of our country. These Special GWI & NNT buttons had added meanings in celebration of what the new Era of Enlightenment offered in an intuitive nature of the sophisticated men who had the foresight of properly building a multicultural nation. As highlighted in several GWI & NNT button sections this 3rd set of buttons contain under Allusion the integration of the original celebratory purpose for the common man as well as the Scottish-Rite Masonic fellowship symbols of brotherhood. Not separating themselves from their patriot brothers with less education, but walking hand-in-hand and side by side into the New Era of Enlightenment.

       As a Proud Freemason myself, I would like to say this was a Special Commemorative Set of buttons made specifically for the Scottish-Rite Masonic brotherhood to celebrate the Masonic Lodge contribution of providing a positive network in helping our founders solidly establishing a New Republic. I would be in Error, to not shed light in this line of thinking. I will never be able to prove the intent of this Special Commemorative Set, but I know this was the first time in Masonic history since the Egyptians that the Scottish Artisans placed Scottish-Rite Masonic symbols held dear on any engraved item.

       Even though It is common for Artisans to place their identifying maker’s marks on their various works in history, these intuitive and innovated men felt no-need to glorify their roles and hid their guided accomplishments by God’s grace under the Allusion technique. So, one may even say it was a Signature Tribute Button for the Masonic brothers who were actively playing a part in establishing America, but for of us that was blessed to see there is more under the surface. There appears to be a further breakdown into 2 groups of Special Masonic God Blessed Buttons. First is the New Nation Tribute buttons NNT 2 & 15 have the Masonic symbols engraved into the button out of the veil of the human eye. I highlighted these for GWI collector’s recognition GWI 4, 13, 20, 21, 22, 24 which placed a Secret Artisan style of of the events that were taking place for America to be a Nation. As for my fellow collectors who see the light, I will give a quick example by the grace of Dale’s enlightenment to me. The most noted and cherished GWI button appears to be GWI 4-B.3. with the 3 touch marks gracing the border. This signifies 3 men meeting on a path in mutual respect and vision to build a country (Linked States) through the honorable deeds of George Washington at it’s center. Each button is a piece in a larger puzzle that tells a story of the true light that is behind the Allusions in the buttons. As seen in GWI 22, The religious symbol of the Honey Bee Hive which is a reflection of Scottish Royal Culture is embedded in the Liberty Cap, and the stipples off the floral is the Bees at work trying to provide our nation with the necessary work under the political veil of statesman who are limited in their actions. So, for now on. All researchers and collectors will have the tools they need to have access to the true Enlightenment that I was graced to have during my journey with Dale. From this point on, the money changers will be able to include the history and context of our Nations rising and make them TRULEY AMERICA’S MOST IMPORTANT ARTIFACT.

*Robert J. Silverstein’s Last Thoughts: I am extremely humbled that through God’s Enlightenment in understanding the “Grand Architects Design,” it enabled me to understand the true sentiment and positive nature of the men that built this country; and had the incredible foresight to address all it’s contingencies in forming a New Nation. Two kind of men will use our information. The first for money changing purposes, and the second for the true understanding of what actually took place in the establishment of our country. The unknown historical information we are finally providing now comes in a time when multiculturalism is erasing the beautiful gift of what America actually represents. When I say, “God Bless America” it should be seen as a reflection of the dreams of assimilation of all cultures to advance humanity forward into enlightenment. This is the TRUE meaning of these celebratory buttons of 1789!