🔎 UNIDENTIFIED 2 military style buttons from Madison, WI


Nov 9, 2023
Here are photos of the front and back of the buttons, text on front of first button (IMG_3251.jpeg)reads "Excelsior" along the bottom and has 13 stars along the top. The backside (IMG_3253.jpefg) reads " SCOVILLE MFG CO WATERBURY" along the top and "State of New York" along the bottom.
The front of the second button (IMG_3254.jpeg) reads "E pluribus unum", and the back (IMG_3255.jpeg) reads " Waterbury CO's" along the top and "CONN. W21." along the bottom.

I found these two no more than 50 feet apart in city park on the east side of Madison. I have not attempted to clean either one, other than using a q-tip to remove some dirt so I could read the text.

Any help with ID would be appreciated.




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Aaronrgreen, I see that's your very first post... so I'll start by saying "Welcome to TreasureNet and the What-Is-it? forum, which is the best place on the internet to get unknown objects CORRECTLY identified, and correctly time-dated."

Collectors of antique Military buttons are usually able to time-date them accurately by the EXACT form (spelling and "design") of the backmark/maker's-mark. The best reference-book on that subject is "American Military Button Makers and Dealers; Their Backmarks & Dates."

Regarding your buttons:
Ticndig is correct on both IDs he gave you. More specifically, the larger one is a New York State Militia officer's button. Its PARTICULAR version of Scovill backmark (there are dozens of Scovill variations) dates from the 1890s to a bit later. You could say it is from the Spanish-American War era.

Your "shiny" button is a US Army "Great Seal Of The United States" officer's button. It is a scarce version whose eagle emblem is a "cut-out" applied over the lined field main body of the button. It's backmark saying "Waterbury Cos. Conn" was used from 1942 to around 2015, when Waterbury changed its name back to a "singular" form... saying Company instead of Companies (abbreviated as Cos.). Because that button shows almost no oxidation on its non-goldplated back, it must have been lost very recently. This suggests it was manufactured closer to 2015 than to 1942.

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