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We have set multiple records for sales results on Cox & Roosevelt jugate buttons, and this variety is the only of the non-unique varieties that we have yet to offer- and as the recognized leader in the field, backed by record results and a 56-year track record of consistently marketing buttons at the highest level- that's saying something! Now to the pertinent question- what makes this Cox-FDR exceptional among its peers? The answer comes down to rarity, condition, size and color.
Rarity: All known specimens of any variety of Cox & Roosevelt jugate buttons are considered to be salesman samples. The present example was produced by a relatively small Omaha, Nebraska firm, M. F. Shafer & Co., while all other varieties were produced by major button manufacturers of the era, Whitehead & Hoag or St. Louis Button Co. Both national firms had larger sales and distribution networks that would have required a larger number of samples to be produced. The smaller Mid-West manufacturer of advertising novelties was founded in 1910, then occupying a 480 square foot building. By 1919 they had expanded to a 52,000 square foot six story factory and just as quickly as they rose, they fell filing for bankruptcy in 1921. Newspaper archives indicate they were still seeking salesmen in 1919; that combined with the tumultuous rise and fall leaves little doubt that they employed significantly less salesmen than the two larger national firms. Less salesmen means fewer potential orders and less need for salesman samples. Thus, decreasing exponentially, the likelihood of specimens of this variety surviving. Only six such specimens are known to have survived, making only the unique examples and the 1.25" W&H browntone varieties rarer than the present example.
Condition: 1" with "M. F. Shafer Co." on curl at 6 o'clock. For extreme accuracy we note a trivial surface indentation at 9 o'clock that occurred in manufacturing. Otherwise only minor surface wear under magnification. Perfect centering, strong color, and on register. NM as made and likely the finest extant. Of the known surviving examples others have ink smears and register issues, this specimen has unrivaled eye appeal.
Size & Color: At 1" dia. only the 1.25" varieties are larger. Patriotic color scheme makes this design a true standout. Additionally, this is the only Cox & Roosevelt jugate to feature color. When placed next to all designs we argue this variety- and particularly this specimen- is truly choice among its peers.
A Note From Hake's Americana Specialist, Scott Mussell: Since I started at Hake's seven years ago I have been privileged to catalog all varieties of Cox & Roosevelt jugates outside of the truly unique specimens unlikely to ever be sold. As a student of the material culture of political campaigning since I was an eight-year-old, I'm humbled by the trust collectors in this field have placed in my marketing and our operation. At each offering we've set a record price for the variety, an astounding run that is truly reflective of the continued interest in political campaign buttons- for which I am eternally grateful. It is a joy to catalog this rarity and we are privileged to offer it from the John Hillhouse Collection where it was the cornerstone pin-back among his legendary holdings.
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