Now that the 2012 presidential campaign is over and we can all breathe a sigh of relief from robo calls and television ads, it’s time to think about what to do with those bumper stickers, convention badges, political buttons and assorted merchandise related to the campaigns.
Anderson Americana, an auction company which regularly holds auctions of political and historical memorabilia held an auction July 10-11, 2012. A catalog of this auction is available from Anderson Americana, Troy, OH. The most expensive button sold was the 1960 campaign between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. The 4 inch celluloid button with “America Needs” and “Kennedy” centering a black and white photograph of John Kennedy sold for $806.00. A 1948 “Truman for Me’ celluloid 11/16” button sold for $50.00.
One of the common terms found in descriptions of political buttons is “jugate”. This means the button has a pricture of the presidential and vice presidential candidates side by side. Like all collectibles the older, rarer, and mint condition buttons are generally more valuable than those with missing pins and damage. A 1904 campaign campaign button printed in red, white, blue and gold for the Democratic candidates, Alton Parker and H. G. Davis centered by an image of the Democratic elephant surrounded by various slogans and in fine condition was reported as valued at $644.00 in the 2008 Antique Trader Collectibles Price Guide.
Not all campaign buttons are old. Reproduction buttons have been issued in 1972 and later dates. If you are considering collecting visit the web pages of collectors such as Hake’s Americana & Collectibles, Ron Wade, John W. Davis, E-Bay, Legendary Auctions Seacom Enterprises. These web sites provide an education in the collection of political memorabilia.