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Rare button up for auction

A 1920 Cox & Roosevelt jugate button rarity will be offered in Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers
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A 1920 Cox & Roosevelt jugate button rarity will be offered in Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers’ upcoming Grand Format auction Dec. 15-16 in Dallas, Texas.


“Among political collectors, a run of jugates from each campaign is a basic building block of a top collection,” said Tom Slater, director of political memorabilia and Americana for HG&A. “This variety, valued at nearly ten times its nearest competitor, is the crown jewel in that series.”

Slater talked about the history of the button.

“Wealthy Ohio Gov. James Cox and former Assistant Navy Secretary Franklin Roosevelt – in the years before he was stricken with polio – were crushed at the polls by the Harding and Coolidge juggernaut,” Slater continued. “Although six different Cox & Roosevelt designs were created, it seems likely that all were just manufacturer’s samples never ordered in quantity, as the total known population for all six varieties is only 50 examples.”

The reasons for its scarcity are varied.

“When a political ticket is doomed to lose,” Slater said, “funds for luxuries like political buttons dry up. Accordingly, all but a couple of varieties of Cox pinbacks are scarce-to-rare, with the jugates prohibitively so. The present example was made by the Whitehead & Hoag Co. of Newark, N.J., and is highly prized by collectors because it can be ‘mated’ with a Harding & Coolidge version. Interestingly, this is the only one of the six varieties for which this is the case.”

Over the years, such buttons have gone for thousands of dollars.

“The 1 1/4” size of this same design holds the record for a Cox & Roosevelt jugate,” Slater added, “with a private sale several years ago for a reported $135,000. Auction records for this 7/8” version extend into the mid-$30,000 range. This is the first Cox & Roosevelt we have handled in years, and a rare opportunity for the serious political collector.”

The Cox & Roosevelt jugate button carries a pre-auction estimate of $18,000 to $25,000.

For more information about Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Potential consignors are invited to contact Tom Slater,, or by phone at 800-872-6467, ext. 441 or contact John Hickey at, or by phone at 800-872-6467, ext. 264.

To reserve your copy of a catalog for any upcoming Heritage auction, please contact Nicole Jewell, c/o Heritage, 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219, or call 1-800-872-6467, ext. 272.