Friday, November 9, 2012

Back Name Buttons

Martin Van Buren "back name" button. For a thirty-year period beginning in 1820, clothing button manufacturers introduced a form of political button that gave new meaning to the term "low key." These were the "back name" buttons. On these gilt brass buttons, the name of the candidate was impressed on the back side, surrounding the shank. Accordingly, collectors display these with shank side up. This Van Buren "back name" has a beautiful ornamental design on the face and is inscribed "Martin Van Buren Excelsior" on the backside. The "Excelsior" does not refer to the state motto of Van's home state of New York, but the grade of the button. This may date from the election of 1836, even though it is included with the 1840 items in Sullivan-DeWitt. MINT condition.                                      

“I helped Will butcher the rest of their pigs this forenoon.  Picked sky apples this afternoon.  Pleasant day.”

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