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.


12th May 2018

New tailor’s buttons thanks to Don:

J. Dorance, Naracoorte:

James was quite the gypsy. In 1896 he moved from Albury to Bunbury, West Australia. He sold his tailoring business in 1903 “due to ill health” and traveled to England to recuperate. In 1910 he was back in West Australia, tailoring in Narrogin. In 1919 he moved to Dimboola Road, Horsham, then to Narracorte about 1924 for 5 years. In 1929 he moved to Kadina in South Australia as he wished to set up a massage clinic (?He had studied this whilst overseas.) In 1931 he was advertising in both Kadina and Narracorte, then it gets a little confusing. In 1934-5 he was listed Albury NSW  as a massuer, but at the same time time he is listed as a shopkeeper in Collingwood then in 1836 as a tailor in Fitzroy! By 1938 he is back in Mt Gambier were he lived until his death in 1951, aged 86 years. At least we can date this button to a 5 year period, from 1924-1929!!

Fred Pearce, Corowa:

Frederick Arthur Pearce (1879-1952) described himself as  an ‘art tailor and mercer” in 1912.  He re-badged himself as a “Ladies’ and Gents’ Modern tailor” and advertised until 1932.

The Corowa Chronicle 1st May 1926.

The Corowa Chronicle 26th November 1927

11th May 2018

New finds from Carol:

New research:

Article from Smith’s Weekly, 26th August 1950.

R.J Forbes

R.J Forbes advertised as the sole agent for imported “British Typewriters” in 1927. From 1947 to about 1965 he advertised button dies and covering machines:

Typical advert from 1947 onwards.

G.N. Raymond

G.N. Raymond was a company producing casein sheets and prepared button blanks for button manufacturers in the 1950s.

The Age 31st May 1950.

10th May 2018: Update on Bentley & Son

I previously thought that buttons back-marked ‘Bentley & Son Melb’ referred to a tailor by the name of Alfred Bentley, but it refers to Coles Bentley and his son Harry Cole Bentley.

Cole Bentley 1917

Advocate (Melbourne) 17th January 1935.

Mr Bentley was originally from Birmingham. He ran the Firm of Bentley & Son  from circa 1880 until his death in 1928.   Before moving to Little Bourke Street, the firm was located at 205 Little Lonsdale Street. His son continued the business until he sold up upon receiving a commision.

The Argus, 3rd April 1943.

10th May 2018

New find:

A Leda card of ?lucite buttons in very good condition:

Michael dug up a Moncton button in a reserve in Sydney: What a find!

Don (Port Fairy) has topped up my tailoring button collection. Here’s the first:

Barcol Knitting Mill: Prahran

Barcol operated in  Chapel Street, Prahran from about 1924 until 1931. it was listed on the stock exchange in 1926 as Barcol Manufacturing Company Pty Ltd.

The Herald (Melbourne) 25th September 1931.

9th May 2018

Carol has found some wonderful hand-painted Coronet buttons:

Also some 2 piece metal buttons:

Because she has increased my collection of Landico buttons, I’ll try very hard to be grateful rather than jealous!

Like my others, the back is a little ‘rough’ with a black finish and a “drilled peg shaped”

8th May 2018

New finds: Thanks Don!

According to its website: ‘ MSS Security’s history dates back to 1896, when Chubb, as we were previously known, opened its first Australian office. Over the past century not only has our ownership changed, but so has our name, from Wormald Security before becoming MSS Security in 2008.’

Chubb was T.C. Chubb & Co., lock and safe merchants based in London from circa 1818. Wormald, mainly  into fire saftey equipment, has existed from circa 1889. It took over operations of Chubb in Australia from 1972 til 1988, when its security services were sold off to MSS.

This is a Captain’s epaulette button, 1972-1986. backmark; K.G.Luke Melb.  TAA was rebranded as Australian Airlines in 1986 and accquired by Qantas in 1992.

Merchant Navy button, WW2 era, by Stokes and Sons.

And whilst in Wellington, pick up all your uniform needs at Kean’s, open every night until 9pm.

NZ Truth, 1st May 1909.



7th May 2018

New finds:

Royal Military College, Duntroon uniform button by Millers Ltd. Sydney:







The college was opened in June 1911 on the former site of a sheep station owned by the Campbell family at Duntroon. Apart from a period from 11931-36, it remained the site of this college. During both World Wars the usual 4 year course was shortened to allow for the graduates to enter quickly into service.

As it shows a King’s Crown, G.A. Millers Ltd (formerly Miller & Morris then Miller & Sons) must have supplied this button between 1911 until 1951. I have found no record of the company actually being called Millers Ltd.

And to commemorate Royal occasions:

The Tamworth Daily Observer 10th June 1911.

Sunday Times (Perth) 3rd May 1953.


6th May 2018

Pat has sent along her fantastic dog buttons, recognising the larger blue dog from a 1937 article shared recently.  (She has a fondness for ‘goofies’).


Detail from 1937 article.








Animal bone buttons from 1938-9.

Similar to this button of Pat’s.








New finds:

More beautiful pink Beauclaires:

Love the graphics.





























Rounded pyramids.

5th May 2018

New finds:

Embassy buttons from the 1970s.

Beauclaire presents, from New York:

The design reappears 30 years later on a ‘Target by Beutron’ card.

The top 3 have mottled colours. The bottom are 3 sizes of the same colour and style. 1950s.

And a fashion tip from 1909:

The World’s News (Sydney) 25th September 1909.