Hi Barb !
I think this is defenetly a prototype. But there are more differences than the black buttons.
Just like Nancy said – the collar is darker than from the “original” one. The second point is the hat. The original clown has one red stripe the prototype has two very small stripes. The third point are the shoes. The original has two white buttons,
the prototype has three. The last one is the face. I think the original has a little rouge the prototype has none.
My opinion is that it is interesting to see how a design grow sometimes. Brigitte has a wonderful website with a section with lots of prototypes. Some of the prototypes are looking better than the solids wich where made for sale. I love the squirrels with the more natural coat for example.
I'm interested to see more of this.
Greetings <img src='style_emoticons//biggrin.gif’ border=’0′ style=’vertical-align:middle’ alt=’biggrin.gif’ /> !