Monday, September 21, 2009

Fabulous Creature: Screen Back Dragon/ Cockatrice

Fabulous Creature
Screen Back Dragon/ Cockatrice
NBS Large
Extra Large, 2" Wide
Steel Metal Liner
Tinted Two Piece
Dragon Escutcheon

Fabulous Creature
Screen Back Dragon/ Cockatrice
Button Back

This truly Fabulous Creature is a 2 inch wide, extra large antique clothing button, circa 1880s, depicting a dragon-like creature known as a cockatrice. It would be categorized as an NBS large, but a button of this size is rare. The screen back is also rare. The main part of the button is made of one piece brass, with the front of the button constructed of the steel liner, the screen back, and the brass escutcheon of the fabulous creature.

The photograph barely captures the majesty of this impressive button. The shiny metal liner is perfect, twinkling like the shiny bright metal you can observe in the photograph below the creature's breast, in contrast to the screen back, which is tinted almost black. In dragon mythology, a cockatrice is a cross between a rooster and a snake, evolved from the concept of the basilisk. Note the creature's beak, comb, claws, and feathers, and his otherwise dragon-like appearance.

The flower tail is also a distinguishing mark, not because it bears any relation to a cockatrice, but because many button collectors are enthralled with owning "flower tail" dragons, the flower at the end of the tail added as an embellishment. Special thanks to my friend, Christine, for letting me know some of the dragons on my buttons are the "evil" cockatrice, lain by a rooster but hatched by a toad, its very glance capable of killing animal or human.

Image and Text © 2009 Anne AKA Once Upon A Button

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