(AKA) Chiseling the Face of the Moon
c1880s or earlier
NBS Large, 1 7/16"
Three Piece Brass
Leaf Border, Steel Liner,
Brass Escutcheon, Brown Background,
Reddish Tint, Japanned Back
I've seen this button referred to as The Imp of Pain; also as Chiseling the Face of the Moon. It's an NBS Large, exhibiting a great amount of detail and multi-step construction, including the brown painted background, a steel liner (discolored from its original bright silver), a brass leaf border, and the imp and the moon molded in a one piece brass, raised and 3-D escutcheon. In addition, the brass border and escutcheon are tinted in red. The back of the button is Japanned black, with an inserted brass shank.
In the photograph, I "touched up" minor scratches in the brown background, which are barely noticeable when the button is viewed at its original size of almost 1 1/2". (Please note: Buttons for sale should always be photographed exactly as is, imperfections in particular, so the buyer knows exactly what to expect. Minor flaws in an exceptional button are acceptable to many buyers, due to the age of the buttons, but a buyer should always be fully informed of condition, and the pictures are more telling than any verbal description.)
The moon looks reasonably comfortable, despite the title of the button; but the imp, with his deep frown, appears particularly unhappy with his work. Perhaps he's just concentrating.
Image and Text © 2009 Anne AKA Once Upon A Button