13th May 2018

More tailor’s buttons:

Southwell Coultas & Co, Melbourne:

The Argus 22nd August 1875.

Australian Women’s Weekly, 1965.

3 Pioneers Band Parade 1916. Southwell  Coultas can be seen behind the crowd to the left.

The above indicates the beginning of this high class tailoring firm that would including royalty and other leaders. They started in 1875 Swanston Street, but  moved to Collins Street later that year. In May 1881 it was reported that “the shop and land in Collins-street, between Swanston-street and Russell-street, with a frontage of 33ft, in the occupation of Messrs Stokes and Martin, was sold to Messers Scourfield and Coultas for 3712 pounds 10 shillings”. (Presumably this is why Stokes and Martin moved from 100 Collins Street.)  Robert Scourfield left the partnership in 1889 to run his own establishment, which however amalgamated with the original firm in 1897 after the death of Mr  Southwell Coultas in 1895. (After Mr Coultas death there was an extraordinary court case, with a lady suing his estate for ‘breach of promise’, claiming he wooed her and told her to stop working, when she did not realise he was already married.) Mr Scourfield died in 1909, having retired to Woodend.

The firm traded as ‘Southwell Coultas & Co’ from 1889 until 1896, then as ‘Southwell Coultas Ltd’  it went up for sale in 1909, but continued trading and was registered as Southwell Coultas P/L  in 1926. Then from 1962 until 1993 the firm traded as Southwell Coultas and Co. P/L. Therefore, this button dates from  1889-1897.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *