Monthly Archives: February 2017

26th February 2017

Two English brothers, Edwin and Walter Pike, came to Brisbane in 1883.  They established their business,  Pike Brothers,  in 1885.

Published 16th may 1885 in the Queensland Figaro.

Published 16th may 1885 in the Queensland Figaro.

Screen shot 2017-02-25 at 7.53.59 PMScreen shot 2017-02-25 at 7.54.19 PM






They were successful,  and opened branches around Queensland,  as well as an office in London.  In 1956 the firm was bought by the Melbourne outfitters,  Leviathan (for more,  see the tailor’s button page) although the stores continued to trade under the name Pikes Brothers,  then simply ‘Pikes’.

4th July 1903

Published in The Telegraph 4th July 1903.

Latest finds:

Screen shot 2017-02-26 at 8.16.58 PM

You can’t get more Australian than budgies!

Screen shot 2017-02-26 at 8.17.14 PM

This was sold as a 1940’s button.

Screen shot 2017-02-26 at 8.17.27 PM

Metal coated Beauclaire and Beutron designs.

21st February 2017

As I’ve mentioned,  I’m working on dating carded buttons.  Delving back into Trove, (the NLA’s digital resource),  I found an advert from McDowell’s store in Sydney published in The Sun on 2nd February, 1950.

Detail from the ad showing a card of "Tub Buttons".

Detail from the ad showing a card of “Tub Buttons” bottom right.

Screen shot 2017-02-21 at 5.33.19 PM

Here’s an example of a card with the”sheets on a clothes line” graphic.  Cards of buttons were advertised for sale from at least as early as 1890 in Australian newspapers,  so the carding of buttons is not a new phenomenon.  Most (although not all) cards were of one,  two,  three dozen, or even a gross of buttons.  The ad detail below shows how cards of “American boilproof washing buttons” were available in 1940 (also from The Sun).

Screen shot 2017-02-21 at 5.47.13 PM

The development of plastics had been accelerated by the needs of WW2 so that plastic “wash”, “washing”, “boiling” and ‘boil proof” buttons were becoming the norm,  and would come to dominate the market,  at the expense of mother-of-pearl buttons. “Washing” buttons were advertised from 1912 onwards.  “Boiling Buttons” were advertised from 1940 to 1954. “English Beutron wash buttons” were advertised in 1945 and “Beutron Boiling buttons” from 1947 through to 1953.


19th February 2017

Due to the increasing quantity of tailor’s button in my collection I have had to give them a page of their own instead of being part of the “Unbranded/generic” page.  Tailor’s and draper’s shops, manufacturing and retailing have been an important part of the retail and industrial development of our country.  They provided employment to many,  as well as a sense of purpose and identity . There is no turning back the hands of time,  but it is a shame that so much local production has disappeared.  Please send photos of your own to add to the blog.

The buttons below are variations on styles I have already shared with you. The gold ones are metal coated versions of a Coronet style.  The glass are 3 more of the Beutron ‘Original’ bird with a big tail.

Screen shot 2017-02-19 at 5.01.02 PM


15th February 2017

New treasures have now come pouring in.  I’ll make a start….

The card at the bottom is a new design to my collection.

The card at the bottom is a new design to my collection.  The “star-fish” buttons are odd.

1950's Beauclaire and Leda.

1950’s Beauclaire and Leda.

Embassy, from the late 1940-s through to 1900

Embassy,  from the late 1940’s through to late 1960’s.  There are those ducks again!

Beutron and Woolworths cards.

Beutron and Woolworths cards.

Screen shot 2017-02-15 at 8.42.20 PM

Beutron cards,  large and small.

Screen shot 2017-02-15 at 8.42.08 PM

A sales sample card.

A sales sample card.

12th February 2017

I have a few new finds to catch up with.  Firstly, there are some more from Beutron and Beauclaire (the bottom two cards are from New Zealand).

Screen shot 2017-02-13 at 8.50.04 PM

Next;  two cards from Woolies,  and two from 1966 when decimal money came in.

Screen shot 2017-02-13 at 8.50.19 PM

Lastly;  some loose Beauclaire buttons.

Screen shot 2017-02-13 at 8.53.07 PM

Here’s a ‘refill’ card,  to alert the sale staff that a line of buttons needed reordering.  It probably shouldn’t have had buttons sewn on it,  as it now can’t be used for ordering!

Screen shot 2017-02-13 at 9.14.44 PM

Have fun with your own collecting!

3rd February 2017

I’ve just received a treasure trove of vintage advertising (thanks Roy!),  so many of the digital scans I sourced from the National Library will now be replaced with better reproductions.  Check out the Beutron and Beauclaire pages.  Here are a couple of new finds to wet your appetite.

Australian Women's Weekly, 28 June 1961

Australian Women’s Weekly, 28 June 1961

Chlidren's buttons 1957

Australian Women’s Weekly, 8th April 1957

Woman's day and Home, 23rd August 1954

Woman’s day and Home, 23rd August 1954.  Pretty in pink.


2nd February 2017

Here are my latest finds:

Screen shot 2017-01-30 at 7.23.20 PM

The Rex button is glass,  therefore imported.  The blue “pearl” is a Beutron press-stud.

Screen shot 2017-02-01 at 8.51.28 PM

Screen shot 2017-02-02 at 8.15.32 PM

A Beauclaire buckle.  Two beautiful glass Beutron Originals featuring a bird with fabulous tail feathers.  A close up of the Kiddietone below.

Screen shot 2017-02-02 at 8.15.47 PM

What cute graphics!  Before I found this card I didn’t realise that “Kiddietone” was yet another Woolworths line produced by Beauclaire.  These buttons feature painted squirrels!