Museum Open

The New-York Historical Society Museum will be open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. For details, please visit our calendar.

George Washington commemorative coat button

Object Number: 
1925.168b
Date: 
1811-32
Medium: 
Copper
Dimensions: 
Overall: 1 3/8 in. ( 3.5 cm )
Marks: 
stamped: on obverse: "MARCH THE FOURTH 1789 . MEMORABLE" and "FRA"
Description: 
Circular copper coat button stamped around edge: "MARCH THE FOURTH 1789 . MEMORABLE" and "FRA" with engraved eagle with shield at center; loop shank at center of reverse.
Gallery Label: 
This button and related example 1925.168a are among a group traditionally believed to have been made for George Washington's first and second inaugurations. However, they were probably worn on the uniforms of one of several Philadelphia organizations that sought to honor and preserve Washington's legacy in the early decades of the nineteenth century. These two buttons represent two of the twenty-three patterns for such buttons recorded as of 1996. See Donald L. Fennimore, "Metalwork in Early America" (Winterthur, 1996), p. 353.
Credit Line: 
Gift of William L. Calver
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group