Posted 3 years ago
There are times when the acquired knowledge of a long time collector can see through the obvious. Here is a badge that was listed as “a great gold colored badge for a Supervisor of the 4th Ward, City of Wauwatosa” which is exactly what is inscribed on the front of the badge in black enameled lettering. True the city of Wauwatosa was divided into wards but the wards were represented by aldermen and not supervisors, when this badge was issued. Wauwatosa is in Milwaukee County, which is divided into districts represented by supervisors forming the County Board of Supervisors. Wauwatosa’s 4th ward was one of those county districts. The shape and design of this badge is the standard Milwaukee County civilian official’s badge of the 1890’s. Even more interesting is that every badge of this type (that I have seen) is in 10k gold. These badges usually do not have gold content marks since they were made a decade before that was required by law.
So what we really have here is a Milwaukee County Supervisor’s badge.
This is also a private purchase type badge and as such the original owner or who ever purchased the badge for him, may have felt that the county affiliation was self evident at that time and therefore may have thought that the district name was more important than the county name.
This badge is 46 mm in diameter from point to point and the body of the badge is only ½ mm thick. The lack of enamel damage to this thin badge indicates that the original owner didn’t carry it in his wallet or at least never sat on it. The badge weighs 10.05 grams and has a specific gravity of 11.158 - 11.166 which indicates 9-10 karat gold depending on the alloy.