This uncommonly interesting and attractive bracelet flaunts three renditions of Aesop's fable, The Fox and the Stork, intricately depicted on Victorian-era picture buttons.
In this fable, the fox amuses himself by inviting the stork to dinner and serving the meal in a shallow dish that, due to her long neck, the stork cannot eat from. To retaliate, she returns the invitation and serves the fox a meal in a long-necked vessel from which he can't eat. This angers the fox and is a moral lesson about treating others as you would like to be treated.
Motifs for Victorian-era picture buttons were taken from every possible source, including contemporary illustrations, photographs, and advertising. Their subject matter reflects the divergent obsessions of affluent Victorians.
The center button in this bracelet is a unique collectible known as a Paris back. This is a term collectors use to describe two-part brass buttons with the word Paris and the manufacturer's name stamped on the back.
In this piece:
Three Victorian brass buttons of The Fox and the Stork, circa 1880-1890, with center one backmarked Paris
Small stamped brass button at end of extender chain
Three brass-plated pewter settings cast today in the USA
Stamped brass filigrees and filigree balls made in the USA in vintage dies