The Inaugural Clothing Buttons of George Washington
In the first inauguration of a freely chosen president of the United States in 1789, President-elect George Washington appeared in New York “…dressed in deep brown, with metal buttons, with an eagle on them…”, according to William Maclay, a Pennsylvania Senator. As would happen in decades to come, merchants saw a chance to sell souvenirs of the occasion and they would be clothing buttons similar to the ones worn by the president-elect. Many versions were created. Some carried Washington’s initials “GW”, others had slogans such as “Long Live the President”, or designs of eagles and stars. One popular version was a link of thirteen chains representing the original thirteen states at the time. The photo shows a few of the designs from a collection since sold at auction. To find an authentic 1789 inaugural clothing button takes a very special knowledge of the many designs. Visit http://moscow2.pld.com/kirk/CobbGW/FULD.TXT for a quick course and a complete PDF format of the clothing buttons known to exist. Be aware. There are many reproductions being sold as authentic on public as well as private auctions and sales. However, a true original could bring $2500 to $4500 at auction. Some common ones are still available for several hundred dollars, though.
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