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This is a very rare and possibly unique jeweler-made 18th c. Georgian period button depicting an aerial balloon. In the popular book Buttons by Safro and Epstein, a contemporary set of silver buttons illustrates the very same balloon. The set is described as circa 1783 and said to display successful maiden voyages. I can't read the engraved title, but it does say "parachute"! The button is heavy gauge sterling silver in an long octagonal shape; the shank too is very heavy. The button measures 1 & 3/8" by 15/16" and is in very fine condition.
A French aerialist on October 22, 1797, named Andre-Jacques Garnerin, descended from a hot-air balloon gondola in a parachute--an aerial life-boat! Garnerin subsequently became the Official Aeronaut of France and died in 1823 (while building another balloon).