Found a neat Button

pamlicopanther

Jr. Member
Feb 12, 2010
75
34
Eastern NC
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Minelab Excalibur (Sword Model) Tesoro Cibola (With GB Mod)
Today we had a strong westerly wind here in eastern NC which pushed the river water out and exposed the river bottom. I was able to leave work a couple of hours early and do some detecting.

I found a few mini balls and some colonial buttons as I do most times I hit this area. I did find one really nice button which is unlike any I have found before. I am not sure is this is civil war or colonial. I have found information that shows this as a War of 1812 era button but I am not sure. Does anyone know anything about this button?


IMG_20130306_223245_076-1.jpg
 
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Don In South Jersey

Sr. Member
Sep 3, 2005
341
96
Southern NJ
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CTX 3030
Pro-Find
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It appears that the button manufactured by Firmin & Westall is a British Firm from Westminster London, they were located at 53 The Strand London.

(Strand, often called the Strand, is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The street is just over three-quarters of a mile long. It currently starts at Trafalgar Square and runs east to join Fleet Street at Temple Bar, which marks the boundary of the City of London at this point, though its historical length has been longer than this)

Firmin & Westall were in business from 1794-1812. From 1811-1824, Firmin & Langdale was the new name.
 

genlee

Full Member
Aug 20, 2011
159
142
Cascade, MD
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So we have affirmed that Firmin has their backmark on it. I want to draw everyone's attention to the construction of the button. No where have I ever seen where this was done. The face has an appearance of having metal wrapped around it, and the back has a very distinct look along with the ridge. It is almost as if Firmin applied their backmark to the button by wrapping another piece if copper or brass this would explain the rough look tot he front.

I am of the opinion that this button was either a mistake and they repaired it or it was made for a specific purpose. lets focus on that because like i said this button has a strange look to it, and ot of the period construction.

Now please do not mistake what I am saying, this button is very authentic i just think there was work done it at the factory post manufacture.

And I want to bring the facts to light, that's all.

So if a better close up of the front and back could be taken, i would love to see if my suspicions are right.

I do not know about everyone else but I am actually excited about this button.

John
 

HutSiteDigger

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Nov 26, 2012
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So we have affirmed that Firmin has their backmark on it. I want to draw everyone's attention to the construction of the button. No where have I ever seen where this was done. The face has an appearance of having metal wrapped around it, and the back has a very distinct look along with the ridge. It is almost as if Firmin applied their backmark to the button by wrapping another piece if copper or brass this would explain the rough look tot he front.

I am of the opinion that this button was either a mistake and they repaired it or it was made for a specific purpose. lets focus on that because like i said this button has a strange look to it, and ot of the period construction.

Now please do not mistake what I am saying, this button is very authentic i just think there was work done it at the factory post manufacture.

And I want to bring the facts to light, that's all.

So if a better close up of the front and back could be taken, i would love to see if my suspicions are right.

I do not know about everyone else but I am actually excited about this button.

John

The button sure is pretty and cleaned up nice you can't get better button then this from it being early 19th century. I don't know if there is anyway too find out at all how many of these were manufactured by Firmin & Westall but there are several types of these exact same buttons used for Naval in the War of 1812 (if you look @ the photo I posted on the first page of this exact same type made by different manufacture). Also if you zoom in on the magnify on the button you can see it clearly you have too click the button 3 times (1 click for each time the page pops up the button) then you can use the magnify to Zoom In!
 
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pamlicopanther

pamlicopanther

Jr. Member
Feb 12, 2010
75
34
Eastern NC
Detector(s) used
Minelab Excalibur (Sword Model) Tesoro Cibola (With GB Mod)
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This button has turned out to be an interesting find. Thanks for all the information everyone is sharing. Would any additional pictures help? Zooming in like Hutsitedigger suggested seems to show the details pretty good, though.
 

genlee

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Aug 20, 2011
159
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I do agree with every one, and yes there were thousands made by various manufacturers, and they all generally have the same construction except this one. It appears to have a new back applied to the button and the back was then wrapped around to the front. kind of like when you wrap a dinner plate with aluminum foil. which is giving the button the look of being cracked around the edges.

I surmise after doing some more research that button manufacturers, often near the end of a batch of buttons would have inferior material and some buttons would need to be altered and or repaired, due to the copper or brass not being thick enough.

I think the button is very unique, kind of like a coin that is struck off center or you have doubling of the letters or date.

A most excellent find and in fantastic condition.


John
 

genlee

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HutSiteDigger

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Nov 26, 2012
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I see what you are looking @ genlee.. It would be nice to compare this button with another exact same one I am sure there are some more out there in other collections and maybe someone down the road will see this post sometime and post theirs. I have a feeling this style button was one of the last buttons manufactured by Firmin & Westall since that name went out in 1812 and therefore some of their buttons had some errors if you will in some of the quality of this button producing. But one thing is for sure they did a good job regardless because this is a good quality button that looks like it was found in very rich or sandy soil, compared to the one Niel in West Jersey dug on that link you provided if that is the same manufactured button since Niel in West Jersey didn't put a back-mark of that button on the page. The one Niel in West Jersey dug is what I call the "collectors look to it" because lot of collectors like buttons that look like the one found by Niel in West Jersey instead of ones that look very shiny & clean!
 
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BuckleBoy

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So we have affirmed that Firmin has their backmark on it. I want to draw everyone's attention to the construction of the button. No where have I ever seen where this was done. The face has an appearance of having metal wrapped around it, and the back has a very distinct look along with the ridge. It is almost as if Firmin applied their backmark to the button by wrapping another piece if copper or brass this would explain the rough look tot he front.

I am of the opinion that this button was either a mistake and they repaired it or it was made for a specific purpose. lets focus on that because like i said this button has a strange look to it, and ot of the period construction.

Now please do not mistake what I am saying, this button is very authentic i just think there was work done it at the factory post manufacture.

And I want to bring the facts to light, that's all.

So if a better close up of the front and back could be taken, i would love to see if my suspicions are right.

I do not know about everyone else but I am actually excited about this button.

John

Buttons like this that look "turned" are common finds from this era. I have several flat buttons with the wide "lip" on them. In no way is this a two-piece button.

Go through your civilian flat buttons, I'm sure you have a couple examples too.
 

genlee

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Buttons like this that look "turned" are common finds from this era. I have several flat buttons with the wide "lip" on them. In no way is this a two-piece button.

Go through your civilian flat buttons, I'm sure you have a couple examples too.

Buckleboy

I agree with you, that this is not a two piece button, it is a button that, has had a new, or has been altered at the factory. That is where I was going with it. I am more interested in seeing if the button has in fact been altered at the factory, and if so possibly finding out why a button company would alter a button. Was it a mistake that they had to fix, did they put another backmark on it and during quality control found it to be wrong?

John
 

BuckleBoy

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Buckleboy

I agree with you, that this is not a two piece button, it is a button that, has had a new, or has been altered at the factory. That is where I was going with it. I am more interested in seeing if the button has in fact been altered at the factory, and if so possibly finding out why a button company would alter a button. Was it a mistake that they had to fix, did they put another backmark on it and during quality control found it to be wrong?

John

I am trying to understand how you are certain that the button was altered?
 

genlee

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I am trying to understand how you are certain that the button was altered?

Ok look at the button and zoom in the out portion of the button face looks like something was wrapped around the edge, take a plate and wrap aluminum around it and look at the bottom of the plate, and you will understand. And then look at the back of the button, you have to look past the shinny look and see the construction. You will understand what I am saying, I have had thousands of 1 piece buttons and hundreds of military 1 piece buttons and I have never seen one that looked like that. Which is why I think it was an error button of some sort.

I know I am going on about it, but I feel it is very significant, and beautiful, and rare "in my opinion".

And maybe altered is a strong word.


John
 

BuckleBoy

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Ok look at the button and zoom in the out portion of the button face looks like something was wrapped around the edge, take a plate and wrap aluminum around it and look at the bottom of the plate, and you will understand. And then look at the back of the button, you have to look past the shinny look and see the construction. You will understand what I am saying, I have had thousands of 1 piece buttons and hundreds of military 1 piece buttons and I have never seen one that looked like that. Which is why I think it was an error button of some sort.

I know I am going on about it, but I feel it is very significant, and beautiful, and rare "in my opinion".

And maybe altered is a strong word.


John

Yes, I don't think altered, just made that way. I do think that is one of the less common appearances, but I have several in my collection that look the same.
 

ICON

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Dec 22, 2012
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now that's sweet !! talk about a plan to to leave work early! an find a great find !!
 

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