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Uncommon George Washington inaugural button coming to auction

A one-of-a-kind inaugural button touting George Washington as the "Father of His Country" is headlining a 658-lot auction being offered Feb. 24 by Heritage Auctions.

DALLAS, Texas — The only inaugural button referring to George Washington as the “Father of His Country" (perhaps the earliest instance of the use of the phrase) will open for bidding at $20,000 when Heritage Auctions presents Part II of the David and Janice Frent Collection of Political & Presidential Memorabilia Feb. 24. The auction offers 658 lots of extraordinary pin backs, banners, campaign flags and assorted campaign paraphernalia.

“The record-setting debut of the Frent Collection realized a stunning $911,538 last October,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage, “and Part II is every bit as exciting.”

Inaugural Button Part of a Series of Sales

The landmark Frent collection – widely regarded as the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind ever assembled – will span eight dedicated auctions with everything from buttons to banners dating from the founding of the republic up through recent elections.

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The collection’s extraordinary Washington Inaugural Button boasts the words “Pater Patriæ” (Father of his Country). Furthermore, it is the only portrait button in the accepted canon of Washington inaugural buttons. In addition, the Frent collection specimen is superior to one recently acquired by Washington’s Mount Vernon historic site.

A “Ship of State” silk campaign flag for Henry Clay’s 1844 campaign opens with a $20,000 bid. It is the most desirable Clay flag variety. The rarity bears a fine display presence. It also offers a very special opportunity for the advanced specialist in political textiles.

Several photographic campaign items will cross the block. The selection includes an 1860 brooch featuring an ambrotype portrait of Abraham Lincoln. It's the "Cooper Union" pose and will open at $12,000. The nation's leading portrait photographer, Mathew Brady, took the image. It dates to when Lincoln was in New York in February 1860 giving a speech at Cooper Union Institute. “Although Lincoln photographic items produced for the 1860 election were widely distributed, almost every example of the George Clark ambrotype suffers condition problems. Furthermore, the marvelous Frent example is essentially in mint condition and is the finest known example to exist,” Slater said.

Political and Presidential Memorabilia On Offer

Furthermore, a dramatic 1868 Ulysses S. Grant Silk Campaign Flag will open at $7,500. In conclusion, measuring 33" x 24", the example is likely one of just three existing examples.

Additional highlights include but are not limited to:

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· An Abraham Lincoln Pennsylvania Campaign Broadside from 1864

· A Folk Art Parade Banner for Horatio Seymour, the Democratic Party nominee for president in the 1868 presidential election

· An important 1864 Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson Jugate Silk Campaign Ribbon (in near mint condition and considered the top ribbon in the Frent Collection)

· An exceptional 1828 Andrew Jackson New York Broadside from 1828

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