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DAMAGED GEORGE WASHINGTON INAUGURAL BUTTONSRegarding Alan Weinberg's note on pins attached to love tokens, Roger Siboni writes:
It must have been something about the era some fifty years ago, but I collect George Washington Inaugural buttons. These are truly historic pieces that are believed to be of American Manufacture (presumably by silversmiths and coin engravers of the time) that were made for the officers on George Washington's staff to wear as something between cuff-links and buttons on their dress uniforms to honor Washington at the time of his first inauguration. They were also symbolic of American resolve to move the button making industry (then a big one) from Birmingham, England to the United States.
In any event, they are frequently found with the reverse shanks bent sideways or snapped off to fit in coin envelopes. Sometimes, the slightly concave button is even pressed flat. The difference between an original button with an upright shank and a bent or otherwise damaged one can represent well over a thousand dollars in value. What were they thinking?
Interesting topic, and Alan's submission led to my discovery of an interesting web site on Washington Inaugural Buttons, which is where the above image lives. See this week's FEATURED WEB SITE for more information.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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