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George Washington was always attentive to the details of his wardrobe. Shortly before his retirement from the presidency, he acquired a new pair of gold enameled sleeve buttons of which this example is one. Sleeve buttons, early versions of cuff links, were used to fasten the cuffs of a gentleman's shirt. Though these were often hidden from sight by the sleeve of Washington's coat, their sleek enamel surfaces punctuated by abstract gold accents presented a fine example of the jeweler's art.


Enameled gold oval sleeve buttons; the obverse of each button is ornamented with a central lozenge-shaped arrangement of four stylized feathers in gold in an oval reserve of white enamel surrounded by a blue enamel border on an engine-turned ground followed by a white enamel border that is punctuated with twelve evenly spaced gold dots; between each of the enameled borders and around the outside is a narrow tooled gold border; at the center of the reverse of each button is a loop shank; the buttons are joined by a figure-eight form gold link that passes through the shank of each button.


c. 1797




Gold, enamel


Overall: 3/4 in. x 1 in. x 3/8 in. (1.91 cm x 2.54 cm x 0.97 cm)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by the Regent, Vice Regents, and Vice Regents Emeritae of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in honor of James C. Rees and in appreciation of his many years of dedication and service, 2008

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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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