Old Button - Unknown backmark and design
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  1. #1

    Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    I usually clean ALL my buttons, you just never know what the crud is hiding and in this case before cleaning, I thought it was a typical flat cuff sized button from around 1800-1830 time frame.

    But upon cleaning a two lettered impressed backmark of WN showed and that is unusual. then after cleaning most of the dirt off the front, I decided to try lemon juice and to my delight there was some gilt left and it had a design!

    Most small cuff buttons are plain so I was happy to see a design and a backmark, now trying to date the button by the backmark came to a dead end for me I can find noone of that time frame or earlier who had those initials.

    Also, the design has impressed in six pointed stars in circles, and I believe I see what looks like tail feathers?

    Open for suggestions on the design and age of button and who the heck was WN?

    I believe this might possibly be a late 1700's or early 1800's political button of some type...

    don
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    "The mantra has always been don't clean a (copper) coin or it will lose value.
    For undug coins this is true. For dug coins this is untrue.
    The value will increase with judicious cleaning."

  2. #2

    Mar 2005
    Minelab Quattro and Sovereign Elite
    138
    2 times

    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    Don,
    Nice button. Are you sure there is not a letter between the W and N ?... Hope you can get it clean without lifting the surface off, good luck...Definitely looks colonial.

  3. #3

    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    All I can add is I think you hunch right - late 18th century, based on the pattern type
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  4. #4
    us
    Oldest Coin Found is a 1853 Seated Liberty Half Dime

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    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    Can't help you on the ID of the button, but I'm not convinced that the letters on the back are W N. It looks to me like a W V. Have you tried looking up those initials? The part that turned the V into an N appears to be a scratch to the button. Hope you are able to have it identified. Nice find.

  5. #5

    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    I am fairly certain it is WN, on another forum, someone posted a silver gilted button with WN on the back also, I have not seen the photograph of the WN, but willing to say it sort of qualifies this as WN. Looking at the backmark straight on, it is without a doubt WN in my opinion.
    Don
    "The mantra has always been don't clean a (copper) coin or it will lose value.
    For undug coins this is true. For dug coins this is untrue.
    The value will increase with judicious cleaning."

  6. #6
    us
    da book worm--researcher

    Feb 2007
    callahan,fl
    delta 4000 / ace 250 - used BH and many others too
    16,621
    3343 times
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    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    that flat button with straight attached ring to back design type was normally used 1780's thru about 1830's era -- most archie types woud see it and "rough date" the area about 1800 with a 20 year "window" on each side ---1780 to 1820--- although it could have been made later of course using the old style type design from that time frame.

  7. #7
    us
    Sep 2006
    Montana
    11,697
    106 times
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    I see WN

    I also found some silver makers marks as "W.N" but I'm possitive the time frame is completely different.

    Nice button Don!

  8. #8
    us
    My Find of a Lifetime!

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    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    Don this button was found in South Eastern Burlington County a while back. To date it is the only plated button I have found. It appears to have the same makers mark.
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  9. #9
    us
    My Find of a Lifetime!

    Oct 2006
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    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    Don,

    Upon closer investigation, it appears that my WN button may also have a design with tail feathers. It is the button on the right. Look at the button at the 7:00 position and see if you see it as well. Unfortunately the only picture I have is not a high resolution picture so I could only go to 200% before I lost resolution. The button measures 20.64 mm.

    A little background that may help. It was found near an 1836 LC, the gilted button pictured (no makers mark, just the word GILT). I also found a clay pipe stem that I can date to circa 1780-1800 by the bore hole size. There were many other artifacts, none which I feel important enough to mention. I have been meaning to return to the site but it is some distance from my home. I would like to get there soon, before the foliage begins to grow in mid April
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  10. #10
    us
    My Find of a Lifetime!

    Oct 2006
    Philadelphia Area
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    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    Don,

    I saw this one posted on another forum from someone in WV. He does not actually say he DUG the button; if you ask me it looks more like an antique store find. But he does say it is marked "PLATED" with the WN backmark.
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  11. #11
    us
    Sep 2006
    Montana
    11,697
    106 times
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    Right from a 1999 T-Net post: http://www.treasurenet.com/forum/rel.../1000751.shtml

    "After further cleaning, I have found that this button is inscribed with :

    SHEFFIELD * WN * PLATED"

    also... another source... http://www.localhistories.org/sheffield.html

    "During the 19th century the old industries like iron continued to boom. In 1856 Thomas Bessemer invented a way of producing better quality steel. In 1858 he began producing steel in Sheffield. Button making flourished. However in 1840 a way was found to make silver plate by electroplating replacing the old Sheffield plate. Cutlery continued to be the dominant industry in Sheffield."

    Who knows?




  12. #12
    us
    Sep 2006
    Montana
    11,697
    106 times
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil in West Jersey
    Montana Jim's reply led me to this:

    William Nowill
    in partnership with John Nowill
    Sheffield 1835 hallmark

    See my post way above... I found that silver mark and blew it off... LOL However now with the Sheffield reference I can see a button dude silver plating his buttons.

  13. #13
    us
    My Find of a Lifetime!

    Oct 2006
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    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    Jim's reply led me to the hallmarks of English Silver. I hope this helps:

    http://www.silvercollection.it/engli...ermarksWD.html http://www.silvercollection.it/ENGLI...RE.html#321ING

    WN (William Napier [ G ]) 18th c./2nd half
    WN (William Nolan [ D ]) 19th c./1st half
    WN (William Nowill in partnership with John Nowill [ S ]) 19th c./1st half)



  14. #14
    us
    da book worm--researcher

    Feb 2007
    callahan,fl
    delta 4000 / ace 250 - used BH and many others too
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    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    hummm william nowill (WN--- hall mark ) silversmith from sheffield england --- known mark 1835 *--- button type common in useage during that time frame --- so --- best guess is a silver plated button from the sheffield england silversmith william nowill about 1835 ish . --- nice find .

  15. #15

    Re: Old Button - Unknown backmark and design

    Quote Originally Posted by ivan salis
    hummm william nowill (WN--- hall mark ) silversmith from sheffield england --- known mark 1835 *--- button type common in useage during that time frame --- so --- best guess is a silver plated button from the sheffield england silversmith william nowill about 1835 ish . --- nice find .
    I think Neil's button would be the one you mention, mine, I think is not the same manufacturer, also mine is gold gilt with circled 6 pointed stars, the one neil has hard to say but on another forum there is a nice photo of a PLATED WN button like Neil's that is not similar to mine. Totally different type of backmarks, shanks and design type.



    Don
    "The mantra has always been don't clean a (copper) coin or it will lose value.
    For undug coins this is true. For dug coins this is untrue.
    The value will increase with judicious cleaning."

 

 
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