Dragons are featured on this metal button which I believe to be bronze. The button was cast from a mold. The button size is 1″ and 1/16″across. Of this, one half inch (1/2″) is a solid panel, and the other side is done in openwork. The solid 1/2″ has eight (8) riveted marcasite studs distributed between four (4) tree branches which are etched. This is probably symbolism, and symbolizes a dense forest, from which the dragons may have just emerged. Let me know what you think the marcasite might symbolize, perhaps a starry night…
Possibly the dragons are outfitted with helmets. The dragon flying into view from the right side of the button, is shown attacking the another, biting him on the tail. The flying dragon holds a prize held in the balance. His prize is some kind of sphere. One of the tiny details that stand out here are the razor like fangs and tongues as the dragons mouths are wide open, and it’s obvious that the bitten dragon is in the utmost pain as he limps away screaming! The attacker is shown grasping a sphere that may be the focus of the “war” between them? Does anyone know what the sphere would be, or symbolize?
As I mentioned above I think the dragons have a helmet on. These helmets remind me of the Roman warrior helmets. Please let me know if you think they are wearing helmets or it’s just their heads on the button.
In this three dimensional sculpture the four dragons featured are depicted with such detail that all of the features which would compose the ultimate dragon of our imaginations unfold perfectly. Per dragon lore their scales were designed in a tiny “V” shape which would reduce drag and allow the dragon to fly faster. Dragons were also believed to have overdeveloped stomachs which produced hydrochloric acid and amp; this acid breaks down into hydrogen gas which meant that dragons were essentially giant, lighter than air beings. Based on this belief people also believed that when a sword was plunged into a dragon it melted. Their wings were believed to be feathered. As it would have been cold in Europe in the mornings and their hydrogen depleted they would flap their wings which would circulate warm air in their drafty caves.
Also, a decorative border is on the button that I think is quite attractive. There’s a “sunburst” design around the half circle in the lower portion with beams shooting out to complete the “sunrise” portrayal. Each sunrise is bordered by a dash and a dot.
In my opinion, this is a fantastic design using great texture, expression, movement, and fine detail. It just keeps drawing you in, and makes you wonder what’s next in the sequence of events, and what power the sphere holds…
Please let me know what you think, and what your opinion, educated guess, and /or expert knowledge is about this button. I would especially like to know when the button might have been made, where it was designed and cast, and who the artist might be.