Sometimes when you’re on a good thing … you stick to it. Button collectors are well aware that fashions in buttons have changed dramatically throughout time. This can in fact can enable us to date the era of some buttons. However, some styles are fairly timeless, for example, the basic 4-holed or “sailors” button, and the 2-holed “fish-eye” buttons.
Other examples with an Australian flavour are a certain children’s duck and fish button that have been around since the late 1940’s, and are still being sold today!
First; the duck. The example I think is the oldest is on a “Jack and Jill” card by Rex. C.Norris. The card has a patent number from 1949 on it. The next is on an Embassy card from the 1950’s or 60’s (pre-decimal prices). Then there are example on Beutron and Haby Habits (Coles) cards. The last picture is from an advert currently on Ebay of the same design duck. The earlier versions have painted details.
Probably the oldest: It has the greatest degree of painted detail which was expensive to do and was dropped over time.
The Embassy ducks still have a touch of painted details. The lower 2 are loose modern examples without paint.
Current Ebay advert detail.
Next, the fish: Oldest may be the example from the ‘Crazyhaberdasher” on a ? early 1950’s Beauclaire card. Next may be the Embassy card. A detail from a 1954 advert is included, then a Beutron card. Finally, there is a picture from a current Ebay advert.
Thanks to the ‘Crazyhaberdasher”. Note the painted detail.
From a 1954 advertisement.
Detail from current Ebay advert.
Although I was aware that Beauclaire (and later Beutron after they merged) made Embassy (Coles) buttons, it seems the original design may have been from Rex C. Norris. Rex button cards continued into post decimal times. Perhaps the ‘Jack and Jill’ designs were sold off, or the company split into seperate entities, one of which was bought by Beauclaire? Can anyone enlighten me?