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  #1  
Old 18-05-17, 05:17 PM
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Roy Roy is online now
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Default 1st West York Militia - Date?

Hi Gents,

Due to some kind assistance from a forum member, I was fortunate enough recently to acquire this lovely gilt, open backed button to the 1st West York Militia. Of interest (to me) is that the backmarks is 'C.Jennens.London' (PoW) and not 'Charles' (Jennens)..!

I would like to ask for some assistance in dating this lovely button?

I have a very similar closed backed/silver example which I have a note of 'pre 1853' on but suspect this one is clearly much earlier.

Any thoughts or comments most welcome.

Cheerio,

Roy
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  #2  
Old 19-05-17, 07:45 AM
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Hello Roy

Another lovely button.

In my view there is no difference date-wise between the backmark "C Jennens London" and "Charles Jennens London" (both with plumes). Usually, but not always, the abbreviated backmark is found on smaller buttons and I assume this was done simply for ease of engraving the master die on a smaller surface area and possibly depended upon the skills of the engraver. I believe both backmarks were in use side by side until about 1832 when the backmark became "Jennens & Co London" (and the use of the plumes was dropped for a period but that's another story!).

The fact that this button is open backed does place it in an earlier time period as most people agree that, in general, open backed buttons were being phased out by the 1830s. As with everything to do with buttons this is not a hard and fast rule and there are always exceptions!

So, given the backmark and the open back, I would say your button is almost certainly pre 1830s. There are some earlier examples of 1st West York Militia buttons shown in Howard's Militia Buttons book and they would date, I think, from the late 1700s to the early 1800s so possibly your button could be narrowed down further to the 1820s/1830s but that's just a guess on my part.

Roger
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  #3  
Old 19-05-17, 03:37 PM
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Hi Roger,

Many thanks indeed for your scholarly reply. I was leaning toward the 1830's so pleased to hear that I wasn't far of.

As mentioned I have a later closed back version, so a very nice addition to now have an earlier example.

Much thanks,

Roy
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