Update

To help support the city’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, New-York Historical is temporarily closed to the public until it is safe to reopen. More details on our Visit page.

Framed set of buttons and sleeve-links (89) excavated at Fort Washington

Object Number: 
INV.6200.355-443
Date: 
1760-1783
Medium: 
Pewter, bone, brass, silver, cloth, glass, jet
Dimensions: 
largest: 1 in. ( 2.5 cm )
Marks: 
stamped: (410-16), on front of button: "38" (British crown above number; 38th Regiment, South Staffordshire; four large buttons are coat buttons) stamped: (417), on front: "80" (floral border, British crown above number; 80th Regiment, Edinburgh Voluntee
Description: 
Pewter, bone, brass, glass, jet, or silver buttons or sleeve-links; military buttons have the number, emblem, or symbol of their regiment on front: one military button has a thin silver face with its regiment number in the center; another has a thin brass face with a crown surmounted by a lion above a regiment number, encircled by a wreathed border; all other military buttons are of solid pewter; other buttons have no regiment numbers or symbols: two brass buttons have decorative designs; twenty-seven brass buttons are undecorated and three of these have cloth fragments attached; one pewter button is engraved with wavy lines, another has a decorative design, and eight others are undecorated; twenty-three bone buttons are also undecorated; links: two octagon-shaped pairs of sleeve-links are decorated with floral designs; another link is oval-shaped; one blue glass gem and one jet link.
Gallery Label: 
These objects were excavated in 1922 by the Field Exploration Committee from a refuse deposit outside the south ramparts of Fort Washington. Built by the Continental Army in the summer of 1776, the fort extended west along 183rd Street from Fort Washington Avenue to Pinehurst Avenue. The fort was captured on November 16, 1776 by British forces, and was occupied until 1783. The pewter military buttons were worn by British privates, and the silver or gilt buttons were worn by British officers.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group