Ashlee Elephant: 34mm
Ashlee buttons are metal picture buttons assembled in the 1940's from old metal stampings. Most were large and two piece construction with the pictorial finding (animals, insects, heads, etc.) soldered onto a plain or ornamental disk. Some had paste embellishment. Collectors purchased them as old at the time of their marketing.
The Ashlee buttons have caused a great deal of discussion among collectors, because these are newly made buttons from old findings (button parts) around 1940. They were sold as newly assembled buttons by the factory, which was the truth, but not all dealers are honest and in 1948 these newly assembled buttons were turning up and being sold as "old"...., which they were not.
Ashlee buttons do have a certain look about them. There are certain distinguishing features which you can readily recognize once you see a lot of them together. First and foremost, though, you should be able to recognize an Ashlee stamping. High relief is a characteristic of many of the Ashlees. Often the dissimilarity between the stamping/finding and the reference materials should make you question a button as an Ashlee. Discoloration around the attached finding sometimes gives you a clue. Many of these findings were used in jewelry and as buckle parts, so they did not take the "fixative" as well as most old buttons. Through the years the discoloration of the "fixative" around the stamping/finding has become even more apparent. For the most part, metal stampings/findings were soldered on plain or ornamental rings or a metal loop shank (often of copper) were soldered to a one piece stamping/finding.