View Full Version : Unusual backmark naval button

01-02-2012, 04:04 PM
First thing I dug was this mourning was a 15mm naval button. :grin: I think it is very early 1800s. It does have usual back mark stating A.W.SPIRE FOR SEASERVICE GUILT. I do not want to clean it much more. I am afraid of damaging it. Has anyone heard of this company. I did find a similar front to this button but from the Waterbury co.

01-02-2012, 05:49 PM
Hello Lasercat , the backmark is very unusual and i'll have to look around a bit more for more info but the button is a 1830's U.S. Navy button very close to one i found earlier this year and is in my Album. a very nice piece of history |:cheering: |:cheering:

yes that backmark is associated with button NA 87-a2. on page 100 in Alberts book and the A.W.Spies backmark was used from 1825-1834 so your button is a little older then i had first thought.


01-02-2012, 10:53 PM
Very nice button! thumbsup01

01-08-2012, 12:55 PM
I have been doing some research online and from what I have read this button was made in England by a man named Joseph Mann for the company A W Spies which is the import company. The back of button says AW SPIES FOR SEA SERVICE JM GUILT. Could it be older than 1824

01-08-2012, 01:18 PM
heres info i gathered on Adam W.Spies

true He was listed as a button maker - in Birmingham, England - in 1805, and continued to 1843. McGuinn states that Mann made buttons for A.W. Spies and possibly for T. Potts.

but here is when it gets interesting with conflicting dates on when he first came from England

Adam W. Spies emigrated from England to New York city in 1827, where he used his Birmingham connections to import military goods. He became closely associated with the large New York firm of C&J.D. Wolfe, marrying J.D. Wolfe's daughters.

Spies, Adam W.

Dealer in swords, firearms and general hardware, New York City, from 1821 till after 1851. He is first listed in the city directory of 1821 as a merchant at 87 Maiden Lane. Then he disappears from the directories until 1833 when he appears as Spies, Adam W., hardware 192 Pearl Street. In 1834 his listing is changed to hardware and military goods store. In 1839 it becomes Adam W. Spies & Co. IN 1840 he moved to 218 Pearl Street, and in 1846 to 91 Maiden Lane. He is omitted from the directory of 1848, but is back again in 1849, 1850, and 1851. He died in 1860 and was presumably active until that time.

either way it doesn't look like the button could be any older than 1821 but i still stand by what i specified earlier 1825-1834