I agree.It looks like a donkey, mule or maybe even a horse to me. I can tell you that your button dates from 1847-1849 going by the backmark.
I haven't seen the elephant button but the political idea did occur to me. Were the donkey and elephant used as symbols in the late 1840s?Good button in nice condition. fyrffytr1 has the backmark date correct.
I've seen a similar style Wadhams button with an elephant on it. Not livery, and a bit odd for a sporting button. My guess would be that these are donkey and elephant for Democrat or Republican symbolism, depending on one's loyalties.
I haven't seen the elephant button but the political idea did occur to me. Were the donkey and elephant used as symbols in the late 1840s?
The story goes that "seeing the elephant" was an expression used by Union soldiers as an euphemism for being in combat. Both the donkey & elephant had been used previously but they became popularized and engrained in the political culture by the cartoonist Thomas Nast in the 1870's.Good question.
The Democrat donkey was first used during Andrew Jackson’s presidential campaign in 1828. His opponents dubbed him a “jackass” but he turned the tables on them by adopting it on his campaign materials, and it subsequently became a general emblem for the Democrat party.
The Republican party of course didn’t exist until 1854. It’s not clear exactly when they adopted the elephant as a party emblem but it was used by Abraham Lincoln during his 1860 election campaign. I can’t say if the Wadhams elephant button I saw had the specific backmark that narrows it down to manufacture between 1847-1849, or a later backmark.
Thanks for the linkI don't know if this will help any, but here is a link to one like yours. Sporting button makes sense but I don't know if I would have called it a deer though.