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"No Stamp Act" button

1766
Origin: England or America
Diameter: 25 mm
Bronze
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2013-82
Cast bronze button with integral drilled shank (broken). Bust of William Pitt facing to left within a circle. *NO * STAMP * ACT * 1766 * PITT around.
Label:While the popularity of political buttons was immense during the last half of the nineteenth and the entire twentieth century, they had been around for some time. This slogan-bearing example, produced for one to display his or her disdain for the Stamp Act of 1765, may be the first American political button of any sort.

William Pitt, known as the "Great Commoner," was greatly admired in the American colonies after his successful argument for the repeal of the much-hated act. Almost immediately, commemorative objects praising him began to appear, from inscribed teapots to a wide array of medals, and buttons too.

Its crude execution, and that fact that these extremely rare buttons don't turn up in Britain suggest that they are American-made. With only a handful of others known, all of which are ground finds from Maryland and Massachusetts, this example seems to be the sole undug example.