A very uncommon and fine example of a tinque button with a blue base. No condition issues. In spite of the appearance in the photos, the edges of the gold foil are sharp and not blurred. This wonderful example has a goodly diameter for a tingue at 7/16" and a depth of 5/16".
NOTES: 1. Tingues are constructed with a layer of clear colorless glass with a very thin colored glass (typically red) sheet overlay on top. This piece is cemented to a glass base with a thin sheet of reflective gold foil or leaf between them. The button is faceted to improve reflection.
2. Tinques are named after John Tingue, a long time senator from New York. In 1883, Tingue was exhibiting angora goats at the agricultural fair in Meriden when he admired a string of 1,432 buttons on display. In a whimsical gesture he offered $50 to any young ladies who collected similar strands for him. As a result of newspaper articles on his offer, he paid out more than $4,000 and wound up with a collection of more than 90,000 buttons, which included some unusual small glass and foil buttons of the type that now bears his name. Primarily made in the 1850 - 1860 period, they started to reach the height of their popularity in the 1880s.
3. The pictures in my listings of tingue buttons attest to the fact that, because of their construction, they are notoriously difficult to photograph.
4. We collected buttons for many years, but have decided to sell our collection. The buttons shown on our site represent but a small sample on what we have, so please do not hesitate to ask if you are looking for a particular type.