Rev War Era Antique Textile Clothing Buttons 13-20mm For Sale
One style of metal clothing button dating from the 1700's was called a "tombac" or "spun back" button and it has the color of lead or silver and was a brass alloy of copper and arsenic instead of utilizing zinc.
These were made by casting or by pouring molten metal into a mold that had a placement for a copper or brass wire shank. After casting the excess metal would be "skimmed" off using a lathe since brass was an expensive metal at that time. Also no manufacturer maker or quality marks were stamped on back (backmarks on buttons came into general use by button manufacturers after 1792 though most didn't b/m their buttons until about 1810).
The white brass buttons being sold here have undecorated plain faces and have differing sizes from 13-20mm and are being sold individually or by quantity depending on how many you need (see "available" to determine how many are currently in stock if you need more than one. If you want a specific size in the 13-20mm range let us know).
Even though metal detectorists find these occasionally on colonial house sites, Revolutionary War sites dating 1776-1783, and French & Indian War sites (c.1756-1763), dug buttons can be corroded and missing their shanks on back and are quite common but non-dug examples like these are very difficult to find especially in sets. The examples shown here were found inside numerous button boxes at estate sales throughout New England over the last 35 years and are in very good condition with no corrosion and all have intact shanks on back. We currently have in stock most sizes from 13-20mm in the quantities shown above so make sure you specifically mention exactly what size you need and how many when purchasing them by writing us a note in the "comment to seller" box. Also since these are from hundreds of garments dating from the 1700's and they were all hand made & finished individually, no two are identical in color or wear and none have been cleaned and they still have their original patina (there was no such thing as a "matching" set even back when they were made).
For further documentation and to see pictures showing this type of c.1730's-1790's clothing button, see type 7 & type 8, pg.91 in A GUIDE TO ARTIFACTS OF COLONIAL AMERICA by Hume or see pgs.48-50 in FORT MICHILIMACKINAC 1715-1781 by Lyle Stone.
If you sell vintage 18th century textiles and need a button or two to finish off a jacket or waistcoat or if you are a Revolutionary War reenactor who wants to wear authentic buttons on your jacket or waistcoat, then this is what you need.
We have other larger sizes in stock so check our store by clicking the EAGLE ANTIQUES logo above then click the "BUTTONS: 1740-1790" category on left hand side.
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