“The Society of Jesus is a male religious congregation of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations on six continents.” -W.P.
In colonial New Jersey, there was a strong movement with the early Jesuit settlers to spread their Christianity to the native American Indians that lived in the Lakewood area. For these Christian settlers and territorial indians farming and trade went hand-in-hand alongside of this religious transformation to Christianity. This Jesuit button was dug from an early known Jesuit site in the Pine Park area of Lakewood. Also, recovered with this button was several European Coppers, some early religious marked pottery pieces, several IHS Jesuit Symbol Rings, and various size Crosses.
Some historical town research on Lakewood says that John D. Rockefeller (known religious affiliate) acquired a real estate holding in 1878, and then after his land investment this area has became an elitist zip code playground for the wealthy. Could this be coincidental or evidence of a solid 19th & 20th Century Jesuit religious affiliation to America’s aristocratic class? Only Dale knows…lmao
We can see in history that there is an unofficial practice for prominent-stature religious people to wear Flamboyant buttons or pins that usually show some kind of Christian symbol reference (aside from the Cross). These various jewelry encrusted pins or gold flamboyant buttons are usually worn one ceremonial lanyards, Capes / Robes to signify their various honorary meanings within the archdiocese. Since this is an ancient tradition, collectors can easily find and see different jewelry examples in early historical portraits. Collectors should note, custom ordered pins of buttons like this Jesuit one exampled above should not be seen or acknowledged as being a propaganda statement for a political or social movement. These buttons carry a specific religious meaning to the wearer and the observer. The button’s depictions should be seen as an interpretation of God’s message or meaning for man’s understanding and enlightenment. Also, collectors should make the distinction between this and an early aristocratic religious affiliation button such as, “The Anglican Church of God” in England button I example in the LLTK 18th century button section. This button would be worn by someone who is part of a congregation or has strong affiliations with the Anglican Church of God.
Due to the large 33mm size, I would only assume Cape / Robe size instead of being worn on a clothing garment. The engraving shows that this was made by a skilled craftsman. One can note the skill of the evenly spaced lines within the channel; as well as the simplicity of the overall design. The engraver most likely had an understanding of the Bibles snake and floral-garden references.
Mid-Late 1700’s Century New Jersey Jesuit Button
Color: Floral Green
Metal: Flat, 1-Piece, Impressed Design, Gilt Brass.
Rarity: R-7 ?
Variety Type: Jesuit Button
Present Condition: An Excavated Specimen, Strong Planchet Condition, Strong Impressed Pattern Remains.
Reverse Description: This is a flat 1-Piece Button with a soldered on shank. The shank is original and intact, but slightly bent. No markets, Gilted.