William Howard Taft: Ultra rare SQUARE DEAL cast metal badge
William Howard Taft: Ultra rare SQUARE DEAL cast metal badge

William Howard Taft: Ultra rare SQUARE DEAL cast metal badge

Price: $225.00
Badge promoting William Howard Taft for president, 1908.
Catalog No: 19084
Availability: In Stock.
SIZE: 3.25 in.
GRADE: Choice/AU
Badge promoting William Howard Taft for president, 1908. Silvered cast metal. Incuse legend in script verso, "Made by A. Rand/ Indianapolis, In./ Copyright applied for." Bas relief bust of Taft to quarter right, enclosed by the legend, A SQUARE DEAL; above, a man representing labor, shaking hands with a man representing capital, with displayed eagle above. Original pin attachment.

This large, finely made badge is a true rarity. We could find only one other example, which sold in a Heritage auction in 2016 (Americana & Political Grand Format Auction #6168, Lot 43710, $212.50). The Heritage cataloger opined that the man at left is Theodore Roosevelt, and there is a resemblance, but his sleeve is rolled up as though a laborer which doesn't make sense for a sitting president and intellectual. The man at right is not anyone we recognize, so our opinion is that they are meant to personify "labor and capital" coming together. The slogan "A Square Deal" is identified with Roosevelt, but was used on some Taft items in the 1908 campaign. Whatever the maker's intention, it's a striking and rare badge, likely one of only a handful of known examples.

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