Superb Haitian Military Button, c1811-1820; Rare find for Northeast

lenmac65

Bronze Member
Jul 28, 2009
1,642
4,360
Massachusetts
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro, Equinox 800 (as of 10/2019)
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
I spent a few hours this week detecting around a cellar hole dating back to at least the 1850s. My best find was this Haitian Military Button, also known as a Phoenix Button. These buttons were designed for use on Haitian military uniforms during the 1811-1820 reign of Henry Christophe, and depicts the phoenix bird rising from flames, which was the image from his personal coat of arms. The button has the French phrase "Je Renais de mes Cendres" around the rim, which roughly translates to "I rise from my ashes." The number reflects the regiment. From what I have read, by the time the buttons had been ordered, manufactured in England, and received in Haiti, Christophe was dead. (Christophe was a brutal general who became king. He committed suicide in 1820. His portrait is below.) Some researchers believe that Nathaniel Wyeth purchased the buttons for trading purposes in the Columbia River Region, which explains their presence in the United States. While these buttons are apparently sometimes found in the west coast region, they are pretty rare in the east. How this one ended up in my area, I can only imagine. I do know I am grateful for finding it, and in such great condition.

I also found two other buttons, one of which I think is tombac, as it is silver/gray and has no corrosion. I also recovered a locket with an interesting design on the front, which I have not yet opened. Lastly, I found an oval piece that looks very similar to a bridle rosette. It still has some twine or cord attached to it. If anyone has any thoughts about the locket and the oval piece, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for checking out my post. Happy hunting and good luck out there.
 

Attachments

  • 20210802_190654.jpg
    20210802_190654.jpg
    233.7 KB · Views: 121
  • 20210802_124125.png
    20210802_124125.png
    122.1 KB · Views: 69
  • 20210802_185944.jpg
    20210802_185944.jpg
    464 KB · Views: 93
Last edited:
Upvote 34
OP
lenmac65

lenmac65

Bronze Member
Jul 28, 2009
1,642
4,360
Massachusetts
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro, Equinox 800 (as of 10/2019)
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #21
Would love to see inside that locket! Very nice assortment of finds. Congratulations!

Thanks! I still haven’t opened the locket, as it is seized. I am curious though. I am afraid I will destroy it, as it feels thin and fragile. Curiosity will eventually get the best of me.
 
OP
lenmac65

lenmac65

Bronze Member
Jul 28, 2009
1,642
4,360
Massachusetts
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro, Equinox 800 (as of 10/2019)
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #22
In 2014, I found a No. 14 Phoenix button near Owl Head Buttes, AZ.

If I recall correctly.....Tom in CA, a well known member here, was interested in tracking where they had been found across the country.... so I sent him a message about it.
I also recall seeing a list that documented where they have popped up.
Very interesting history for sure!

Very interesting. I would be curious to see that list.
 

Tom_in_CA

Gold Member
Mar 23, 2007
13,794
10,230
Salinas, CA
🥇 Banner finds
2
Detector(s) used
Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
I believe this is the "list" you are referring to :


I've found well over 100 PB's in my time in CA.
 

Digger RJ

Gold Member
Aug 24, 2017
12,049
20,496
SW Missouri/Oklahoma
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab CTX 3030; Minelab Equinox 800
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I spent a few hours this week detecting around a cellar hole dating back to at least the 1850s. My best find was this Haitian Military Button, also known as a Phoenix Button. These buttons were designed for use on Haitian military uniforms during the 1811-1820 reign of Henry Christophe, and depicts the phoenix bird rising from flames, which was the image from his personal coat of arms. The button has the French phrase "Je Renais de mes Cendres" around the rim, which roughly translates to "I rise from my ashes." The number reflects the regiment. From what I have read, by the time the buttons had been ordered, manufactured in England, and received in Haiti, Christophe was dead. (Christophe was a brutal general who became king. He committed suicide in 1820. His portrait is below.) Some researchers believe that Nathaniel Wyeth purchased the buttons for trading purposes in the Columbia River Region, which explains their presence in the United States. While these buttons are apparently sometimes found in the west coast region, they are pretty rare in the east. How this one ended up in my area, I can only imagine. I do know I am grateful for finding it, and in such great condition.

I also found two other buttons, one of which I think is tombac, as it is silver/gray and has no corrosion. I also recovered a locket with an interesting design on the front, which I have not yet opened. Lastly, I found an oval piece that looks very similar to a bridle rosette. It still has some twine or cord attached to it. If anyone has any thoughts about the locket and the oval piece, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for checking out my post. Happy hunting and good luck out there.
Nice!!! Congrats!!! Congrats
 
OP
lenmac65

lenmac65

Bronze Member
Jul 28, 2009
1,642
4,360
Massachusetts
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro, Equinox 800 (as of 10/2019)
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #25

Tom_in_CA

Gold Member
Mar 23, 2007
13,794
10,230
Salinas, CA
🥇 Banner finds
2
Detector(s) used
Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
For the most part : Sprague did not have access to demographics of the private sector. He was going off of archie reports, museum inventories, etc.... So, for example, a quick look at archived word searches on md'ing forums will bring up many found at odd-ball places (like your post here lenmac65 !).

Sprague's article predates the advent of hobbyist internet forums, capable of key-word searches. But if someone did an updated article today, then needless to say, they could put a lot more "pins on the map". Just with inventorying metal detectorist's show & tell posts. Naturally, it might only be a state or a city, since md'rs don't tend to show their hand of cards, haha

A buddy of mine is over 300 pb's in CA so far. I'm at well over 100 so far.
 

billb

Bronze Member
Sep 23, 2010
2,118
3,341
Upstate NY
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Excalibur2,,silver sabre
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I spent a few hours this week detecting around a cellar hole dating back to at least the 1850s. My best find was this Haitian Military Button, also known as a Phoenix Button. These buttons were designed for use on Haitian military uniforms during the 1811-1820 reign of Henry Christophe, and depicts the phoenix bird rising from flames, which was the image from his personal coat of arms. The button has the French phrase "Je Renais de mes Cendres" around the rim, which roughly translates to "I rise from my ashes." The number reflects the regiment. From what I have read, by the time the buttons had been ordered, manufactured in England, and received in Haiti, Christophe was dead. (Christophe was a brutal general who became king. He committed suicide in 1820. His portrait is below.) Some researchers believe that Nathaniel Wyeth purchased the buttons for trading purposes in the Columbia River Region, which explains their presence in the United States. While these buttons are apparently sometimes found in the west coast region, they are pretty rare in the east. How this one ended up in my area, I can only imagine. I do know I am grateful for finding it, and in such great condition.

I also found two other buttons, one of which I think is tombac, as it is silver/gray and has no corrosion. I also recovered a locket with an interesting design on the front, which I have not yet opened. Lastly, I found an oval piece that looks very similar to a bridle rosette. It still has some twine or cord attached to it. If anyone has any thoughts about the locket and the oval piece, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for checking out my post. Happy hunting and good luck out there.
Congratulations on your beautiful recoveries
 

billb

Bronze Member
Sep 23, 2010
2,118
3,341
Upstate NY
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Excalibur2,,silver sabre
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Congratulations on your beautiful recoveries
 
OP
lenmac65

lenmac65

Bronze Member
Jul 28, 2009
1,642
4,360
Massachusetts
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro, Equinox 800 (as of 10/2019)
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #29
For the most part : Sprague did not have access to demographics of the private sector. He was going off of archie reports, museum inventories, etc.... So, for example, a quick look at archived word searches on md'ing forums will bring up many found at odd-ball places (like your post here lenmac65 !).

Sprague's article predates the advent of hobbyist internet forums, capable of key-word searches. But if someone did an updated article today, then needless to say, they could put a lot more "pins on the map". Just with inventorying metal detectorist's show & tell posts. Naturally, it might only be a state or a city, since md'rs don't tend to show their hand of cards, haha

A buddy of mine is over 300 pb's in CA so far. I'm at well over 100 so far.
Thanks for the insights. Sounds like you and your friend found enough of these buttons to equip a small army. I haven’t seen too many of these posted myself, so I assumed they were a bit unusual. Oh well. Thanks again.
 

BuckleBoy

Gold Member
Jun 12, 2006
17,524
8,015
Moonlight and Magnolias
🥇 Banner finds
4
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
2
Detector(s) used
Fisher F75, Whites DualField PI, Fisher 1266-X and Tesoro Silver ?Max
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I spent a few hours this week detecting around a cellar hole dating back to at least the 1850s. My best find was this Haitian Military Button, also known as a Phoenix Button. These buttons were designed for use on Haitian military uniforms during the 1811-1820 reign of Henry Christophe, and depicts the phoenix bird rising from flames, which was the image from his personal coat of arms. The button has the French phrase "Je Renais de mes Cendres" around the rim, which roughly translates to "I rise from my ashes." The number reflects the regiment. From what I have read, by the time the buttons had been ordered, manufactured in England, and received in Haiti, Christophe was dead. (Christophe was a brutal general who became king. He committed suicide in 1820. His portrait is below.) Some researchers believe that Nathaniel Wyeth purchased the buttons for trading purposes in the Columbia River Region, which explains their presence in the United States. While these buttons are apparently sometimes found in the west coast region, they are pretty rare in the east. How this one ended up in my area, I can only imagine. I do know I am grateful for finding it, and in such great condition.

I also found two other buttons, one of which I think is tombac, as it is silver/gray and has no corrosion. I also recovered a locket with an interesting design on the front, which I have not yet opened. Lastly, I found an oval piece that looks very similar to a bridle rosette. It still has some twine or cord attached to it. If anyone has any thoughts about the locket and the oval piece, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for checking out my post. Happy hunting and good luck out there.
The oval piece is likely a rosette or similar
 
OP
lenmac65

lenmac65

Bronze Member
Jul 28, 2009
1,642
4,360
Massachusetts
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro, Equinox 800 (as of 10/2019)
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #31
The oval piece is likely a rosette or similar
Thanks! The bridle rosettes I see posted on this site are usually round, so I was thrown off a bit. However, I have since Googled oval bridle rosettes, and saw a number of them posted online. The posts I saw were reportedly Civil War era. I don’t know if that is right or not for mine, but it would seem to make sense based on the age of my other finds there..
 

Top Member Reactions

Users who are viewing this thread

Top