Stamped and Pierced Brass
Cut-Outs, Shiny Steel Liner
The Trumpeter of Sakingen is a common button design, but this version is not a common button. Note the cut-outs for the half moon, the city windows, and the waters of the Rhine River. It is a three part stamped, tinted, and pierced brass button, with a shiny metal liner, a japanned back, and a silver rim. I paid about six dollars, but I've seen the same button priced at fifty dollars. There is a cut-out for a full moon in an even rarer version.
This button is another great example of the link between art, design, and popular culture. You can read the detailed story of The Trumpeter of Sakingen within the text of the Legends of the Rhine by H. A. Geurber (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co, c1895) found at the Internet Archive. Section 316 through 321 is Guerber's summary of the original poem, The Trumpeter of Sakingen by Scheffel. The story was made into an opera by Nessler, which is probably the reason for this button design's wide popularity.
Image and Text © 2009 Anne AKA Once Upon A Button