Heritage’s Americana Signature Auction contains over 700 American history and political artifacts, among them a rare political pinback from the 1908 Taft & Sherman political campaign.
Called a jugate for the two side-by-side portraits of William Howard Taft and his running mate James Sherman, and called “Elephant Ears” for the portrait placement, this 1 and 1/4 inch in diameter celluloid pinback packs a visual-punch with its bright red and vivid yellow graphics.
The Taft & Sherman “Elephant Ears” Jugate, is among the most valuable of all the 1908 Taft-Sherman pins — not only due to age but a low production run. With it’s original Whitehead and Hoag back paper, this jugate has an auction estimate of $6,000 – $7,000.
The Americana Signature Auction will be held on May 12, 2012, in Dallas; absentee bidding ends May 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM CT.
I spotted this clever display idea at a local antique mall: the dealer has put a selection of collectible pinbacks in a birdbath.
At home, of course, this might present a dusting problem (always the bane of collectors!), but if you used a sturdy cement birdbath, you could place a large round piece of glass or Plexiglass over the top. Like the kind used to make those round boudoir tables.
The clear covers would keep dust, pet hair and other contaminants out (and, if UV protective, damaging sunlight too) while still allowing the collection of vintage lithos, celluloid, and metal pinbacks to be on display. This would work well for housing and displaying vintage and antique buttons and other small bits and bobs too.
Imagine it as an end table, next to your sofa or chair, with a little vintage lamp on top, lighting the contents, inviting guests to look inside. A very charming conversation piece!
As a (small) dealer at Antiques On Broadway, I have the opportunity to see items as they come in or are waiting to be priced; that’s how I came to discover these funky vintage political pinback buttons.
(I apologize for the poor quality of the photos; I snapped them quickly with my cell.)
The first vintage pin caught my eye with its simple line drawing of a presumably Republican elephant on a brown background.
I gather the “Trunks up!” phrase is some sort of rally cry.
Elephants with the trunks turned up are supposed to be good luck, as opposed to elephants with the trunks pointing down; many collectors of elephants (figurines, etc.; not the actual animals!) will only collect them with the trunks up. However, I’ve met other collectors who dare to do the opposite. And many collectors who don’t care one way or another.
The second vintage pinback button was far less iconic in its simplicity — but far more intriguing…
A white flower shape on a blue background with “Organized Housewives For Forsythe” printed in the same shade of blue. It begged me to do a little research. (Oh how I love such invitations!)
While I did learn a lot more about political women’s organizations and housewives and social issues in general, the Organized Housewives For Forsythe was a needle in a rich historical haystack.
The only concrete thing I could find was this political advertisement, published in the Austin Daily Herald on November 1, 1966:
In 1966 Walter Mondale would defeat Republican candidate Robert A. Forsythe and retain his Minnesota Senate seat — but it wasn’t with the help of the Organized Housewives.
If you know more about this group, or these pinbacks, please share by leaving a comment.