Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Thomas Jefferson: An Important and Possibly Unique Clothing Button Picturing our Third President. The tradition of honoring presidents on clothing buttons began with the ubiquitous 1789 Washington inaugural issues and has continued sporadically ever since, notably in the 1830s and 1840s. By far, the most significant and valuable example in this series is the 22mm silvered brass shank button created by R. Martin of Philadelphia. The 1801 Philalethia Directory lists him as a "gilt and plated button maker" on Filbert Street. Not surprisingly, the Jefferson portrait seems to have been taken from the official Jefferson inaugural and peace medals, as Martin operated just blocks from the first U.S. Mint. His name is struck on the reverse and the faint word "plated" is incused.

    Contemporary items of any kind honoring Jefferson are extremely few and far between, and highly sought after by collectors. This one-of-a-kind shank button is supremely important both for presidential artifact collectors and clothing button enthusiasts alike. It was first published in 1895 in an article by Edmund Cleveland for the American Journal of Numismatics, and subsequently by DeWitt/ Sullivan as TJ 1800-2 by Albert as PC-3. Prior to purchase by the consignor it was in the legendary John Ford collection.

    It is uncertain whether the previously published images may be of this very example, but we have certainly never seen another, and can find no record of another copy appearing at auction. Condition is outstanding and will satisfy the most demanding hobbyist. Original shank is intact, of course.

    It has been said that "big things sometimes come in small packages." That certainly applies in the case of this superb Thomas Jefferson button.


    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    September
    25th Saturday 10:50 am CT
    Auction Dates
    September
    25th-26th Saturday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    5 Days 13h 29m 30s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: 30
    Page Views: 581

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    This lot is in: 1 - Signature® Floor Session (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 43001-43329) - 11:00 AM Central Time, Saturday, September 25, 2021.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 7 days before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

    Show All Session Information

    Show Auction Type Info

    Exhibition Viewing Times, Title Page, Floor Session and License Information

    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261



    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    ** Lots bearing estimates and without Consignor Reserve shall open at Heritage Auctions' discretion (usually 25% to 60% of the low estimate).

    Opening Bid:
    $25,000
    Bid Protection
    w/ Buyer's Premium (BP) : $31,250.00 Minimum Next Bid: $25,000 ($31,250.00 w/ BP)
    Track Item