Monthly Archives: October 2018

30th October 2018

Please note: The new address for this blog is


New finds: Grant Featherston buttons

and with a similar style but some type of ceramic…

It is some kind of glazed and fired material, but softer than ceramic as I can scratch a white powder from the unglazed section of the shank. Could it be an example of the Melbourne made buttons described below? It was sourced from a Melbourne button dealer.

The Herald (Melbourne) 19th April 1950.


28th October 2018



S.Sclank & Co. button.

This company produced buttons and badges from 1887 until 1970.







Stokes and Sons: W.A. Fire Bigade 1909.

There is a button of the same design backmarked ‘Sheridan Perth’.


27th October 2018

Boxing Kangaroo:

A query as to whether this set of buttons (found in Idaho) was of Australian origin came our way. For the record, I don’t think it is, as the construction (celluloid with embedded steel loop shank) is not something I have seen made by any Australian manufacturer. However, the set is fascinating. The card they were sewn on was labelled as “Allied Forces of WWII” and depicts the USA, Britain, China, Australia and Russia. This dates the buttons as 1941 or after, as that is when Russia joined the Allies.

It made me wonder about the use of the ‘boxing kangaroo’ as an Australian mascot, so I did some research:

The first boxing kangaroo of fame was named Jack and trained by ‘Professor Richard Von Lindermann’.

Punch, 16th April 1891.

They performed in shows around Australia from 1891 and then traveled to London in 1892 where they were a great success. Jack died there in 1896, having made his trainer a lot of money. Later boxing kangaroos included two called ‘Peter Jackson” in 1897 and1908, ‘Aussie’ from Adelaide trained by Lindsay Fahre around 1926-9, ‘Chut’ trained by Harry Abdy who appeared in the film “Orphan of the Wilderness” in 1936 and ‘Peter the great’ who performed around America in 1940. “Peter the Great’ was not the first boxing kangaroo to travel to the States. The first reference I found was in 1893.  Photos, illustrations and cartoons of boxing kangaroos had been published since 1891, so the imagery was well known by WW2.

A Cartoon in Punch (Melbourne) 26th December 1895. The “Boxing Kangaroo” is telling off Britain and America as they squabble over a disputed border of Venesula.


The Australasian, 30th December 1911. “Parramatta” was a mascot aboard an Australian destroyer.

Sun (Sydney) 25th July 1915.


24th October 2018

New finds from ‘Trove’:

Smiths Weekly, 29th January 1949. These cards were used for the next decade. Other branded buttons sold on such cards are sure to have been made by G.Herring (Beutron).

The Daily Telegraph, 22nd July 1954. Enlarged detail below:

The Land, 18th June 1954.

The Daily Telegraph, 12th April 1951, showing Beutron buttons.

23rd October 2018

Mason & Culley, Williamstown:

In 2015 Robyn Caddy,  a fellow Button Cub member wrote an interesting story about a ‘Water Police’ button in the collection of the Police Museum. At that time some questions remained about this button, so I took a look into the story.

The backmark is MASON & CULLEY WILLIAMS TOWN. The partnership lasted only from the 1st July 1852 until the 1st November 1854 when they were described as Auctioneers and General Dealers. It is not clear as to whether the above button was actually produced commerically, or is a prototype made to show the customer. It is not known who produced the button. If it was not Thomas Stokes (who started his die-sinking business in Melbourne in 1854), it would have likely been British in origin.

This portrait of Thomas Mason hangs in the Williamstown council chambers.

Thomas Mason (1823-1896) came to the colony in 1841. He was one of Melbourne’s earliest Justice of the Peace and would become Williamstown’s first mayor.

(Article from the Williamstown Chronicle, 25th August 1883)

Benjamin Culley was born in Norfolk, England in 1824 and came to the colony in 1848. He left Williamstown in 1860-61. He ran stores in Talbot, Amherst, Talbot, Albury then Urana. Until his 94th year he was still in business! He died at Urana in 1921 at the age of 96 years. I haven’t been able to find an image of him.

22nd October 2018

Some interesting new finds:

Does anyone know where/who made these?

This card is slightly smaller than the other ‘Latest Fashion’ cards. These type of realistic buttons were popular from the late 1930s until the 1950s. This card may date from the 1940s.

This is a Beauclaire style button. I have not seen it branded as ‘Notions’ before.

19th October 2018



New finds: Beutron cards.

Both these cards are something new. The tub buttons (a name from the 1940s) is on a card approx 6.4x9cm rather than 18x12cm for all the others I have so labelled. The design is new, as well. The  back printing is completely different: ” high fashion at low cost. Introduced at popular request, Beutron Tub Buttons are moulded from selected materials. New and attractive designs are featured that will add so much to fashions and fabrics. treat then as you would your fine materials – they will then retain their factory fresh look even after many launderings.”

The card below features black glass buttons with a lovely silver finish. But look at the price; 4 shillings! Buttons on ‘All Purpose’ cards usually cost 1, or 1 and 3, shillings. These were expensive buttons!

18th October 2018

New finds: ‘Fashionable Buttons’ from the 1940s.

Below I have compared one of the above grey buttons with a green “Lovely Lady’ (General Plastics) button. The material and size are similar, as are the daisies. Could this be another brand of buttons produced by General Plastics?


Below: late 1950s Leda.