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Civil War Maltese Cross, Gutta-Percha Buttons, dated "1851"

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Product Description

Offered here is a grouping of four gutta-percha (hard rubber) buttons. Three of the buttons measure approximately ¾” (coat size) and the single one is ½” (cuff size). The face of the buttons has the design of the Maltese cross. They were made by the “Novelty Rubber Company” and the backmark is: “N.R. Co. GOODYEAR’S P=T. 1851”.

The Novelty Rubber Company manufactured many items during the Civil War, including buttons. It is theorized that they were the producers of buttons for the famous Berdan Sharpshooters, which have the same backmark as the examples offered here. In “India-Rubber and Gutta-Percha In the Civil War Era”, by Mike Woshner, there is an example of this backmark on a button belonging to Captain J. Byron Brooks of the 4th Vermont (see pictures). The face is carved with a cross. He was wounded on May 4th, 1864.

The design of the Fifth Army Corps is a Maltese cross, but at present I am unaware if there is any connection to the face of these buttons. Either way they are very nice examples of Civil War era buttons. Please feel free to ask any questions….thanks for looking.

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