I'm flabbergasted. A couple of weeks ago I saw this gorgeous button for sale at $6.00 NZ. I took it to my friendly button lady at Three Buckets Full and she told me it was a story button and worth about $25.00 NZ.
I put a query on the California Button Society Facebook page about it's origins and this is their reply..."I believe this is "Esmeralda and Her Dancing Goat" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame-written by Victor Hugo. This is an 'Opera' Button and it was made about 1880! Sweet find!"
Esmeralda, or La Esmeralda (French: Esméralda), born Agnes, is a fictional character in Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (or Notre Dame de Paris). She is a French Gypsy girl (near the end of the book, it is revealed that her biological mother was a French woman). She constantly attracts men with her seductive dances, and is rarely seen without her clever goat Djali. She is around 16 years old.
Well, every button has a story but this is a beauty.