DescriptionJohn W. Davis: Extremely Rare, Colorful 1¾" Celluloid Button. For years the only copy with which we were familiar with was the Hake book plate example, firmly ensconced in the Sterling family collection. Since then one, possibly two more, have surfaced, and now this one from the Berman Collection. Because of the way this button was assembled, it seems probable that these were manufacturer's trials. They started with a standard button paper of a stock red, white, blue, and silver design, but no portrait in the center, probably left over from the 1900 campaign. A button paper which would have been used to make the most familiar ⅞" Davis variety was laid in the middle of the white circle, and then the clear celluloid overlay was applied.
Condition is excellent but for some even light browning to the background circle. Since the back of the button shows absolutely no hints of moisture infusion, it may well be that the background paper already had age browning before the button was assembled. Another possibility is that the glue used to attach the portrait to the button paper slowly bled out into the surrounding border. In any case, because the browning is both light and even, it is not hard to live with on an example of this great rarity.
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