By the 1790s, large, luminescent disks made of exotic materials had superseded the earlier taste for modest buttons of metal or fabric on men's coats. This pink conch shell button, set in gold with a silver-plated boss and a gilt ten-pointed star at its center, is one of many believed to have been owned by George Washington. Washington purportedly gave this button to Colonel Richard Kidder Meade, his aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War, who in turn had it mounted as a pin and presented to his wife. More


c. 1789-1797



Conch shell, gold, silver, copper alloy


Overall: 1/2 in. x 1 7/16 in. x 1 7/16 in. (1.27 cm x 3.66 cm x 3.66 cm)


Gift of Mrs. Drayton Hill Meade in memory of Col. Richard Kidder Meade, 1955

Object Number



Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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