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Old 01-02-23, 04:32 PM
Fureracollector Fureracollector is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 7
Default Identical button designs, which is original?

I posted about these buttons some time ago and found only little information since then. I do know that these buttons were specifically used on coats given to Indigenous Chiefs whom signed the Numbered Treaties in Canada and their Councillors.

These buttons were first ordered in 1872 with the design shown and the words 'Dominion of Canada Indians'. Here's the thing though, the buttons on the coats for the Chiefs (Scarlet Sack Tunic) were Gilt Brass, while the coats for the Councillors (Blue Sack Tunic) were White Metal Plated.

The coats were ordered from the same contractors whom supplied uniforms to the Canadian Volunteer Militia in 1871 which I found was Tait & Co. London Army Contractors which does match the same company as the identical button I found online.

The button I found recently has a Smith & Wright Birmingham backmark with a sunburst design on the inner circle which I found matches the design from NWMP and CVM buttons from Smith & Wright, but the Tait & Co. button lacks such a design. Could this possibly be because it was meant to be of a lower quality, meaning for the coats of the lower officials (Councillors)?

Would anyone be able to narrow down the timeframe of when this design in the backmark stopped being used?

Pictures I've shown here are

1 & 2) the button I found in the fall of 2021 front side and back, by Smith & Wright Birmingham

3 & 4) identical button design, by Tait & Co. London

5) Another picture of the button which I found, it appears as though a small amount of gilt remains on the surface.

6) Chief Kakekapenais of the Saulteaux, signatory to Treaty 1 wearing his Scarlet Chiefs Coat (unknown date)

7) Treaty Coat button from the coat of Chief William Berens (Treaty 5 signatory) currently at the Manitoba History museum as one of the only known surviving Chiefs Coats.
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Old 02-02-23, 07:25 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,413

The sunburst design on the back would purely be a manufacturer's thing and have no bearing on the use of the button. Nothing to do with the end use.
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Old 02-02-23, 01:32 PM
Rob Miller's Avatar
Rob Miller Rob Miller is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Devonshire
Posts: 2,068

This has come up several times before, I understand Tait buttons were made by Smith & Right, the quality of the ones I have is much the same.

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