Category Archives: Uncategorized

6th December 2019

Livery Button:

No, I’m not confused. I have an Australian made livery button! It is for the Marquess of Lansdowne by Stokes and Sons.

The full Coat of Arms of the Marquess of Lansdowne (from Wikipedia)

The Title has been held by the head of the Petty-Fitzmaurice family since 1784. In 1956 the eighth Marquess (George John Charles Mercer-Nairne Petty-Fitzmaurice, 1912- 1999) and the Marchioness of Lansdowne were among visiting dignitaries from the United Kingdom branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, in Australia for the Centenary of responsible governments in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. They arrived in Sydney on the 11th November, afterwards visiting Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart in turn. Either the Marquess ordered some buttons from local maker Stokes whilst he was here, or else Stokes had produced them as a gift.

From the Argus, 22nd November 1956: The Machioness and Marquis at a State dinner in Melbourne. This was during the Olympic Games being held in Melbourne that year.


The 8th Marquess, soldier and politician.


5th December 2019

No luck in Yackandandah, alas, but I did see this interesting photo at the Beechworth Gold gallery and shop:

Richard Finch sure made sure you knew where his tailor’s store was: 2 signs on the verandah edge, one on the street post, and one painted on the wall above the verandah. See the tailor’s page


Don has spotted these:

See for buttons that adorned the woollen and woollen blend underwear made by the Australian Knitting Mills in Richmond. These must have been for store display.


3rd December 2019

Hubby has to go to Yackananah for work for two days, so I’m accompanying him on a country field trip. Here’s hoping I have some of Carol’s luck/talent for finding button goodies! I’ll let you know on my return.

Spotted online:

Yet another variation of the Beauclaire rose, more variations of the Coronet basket of flowers (middle and right) and also a hand painted Coronet bonnet. Sometime there is only one good button in a lot for sale; what to do? To buy or not?

2nd December 2019

Thomas Stokes:

Over the years Thomas Stokes, and then his family after his death, ran the firm from a number of locations around Melbourne. The first was at 15 Mincing Lane,  which no longer exists but was located off Flinders Lane between William and King Street. This would have been convenient for receiving goods from Queens Wharf. He worked here alone in a one room shop from 1854-6. Around April of 1856 he moved to 115 Flinders Lane east (that is, east of Elizabeth Street), then to 100 Collins Street east from 1858-1881.

The stud below , made from a 1855 commemorative token, was made at this location.

“Thomas Stokes maker” dates this as prior to his partnership with George Marton from 1867.

This building was sold in 1881, forcing Stokes and Martin to move to 29 Little Collins Street. The advertising token below was produced at this address.

“Have your old plated ware made equal to new at half the original cost.”

The bust depicted is of George Coppin, an actor, theatre manager and sometime Victorian politician.

In July 1888 they moved to Caledonian Lane (Post Office Place), but in 1893 the partnership ended. Stokes’ sons would join the firm. The Victoria Police uniform button below therefore dates from post 1893 and up to 1901 (note the Queen Victoria Crown, which was not used after her death in 1901). Note the inscription P.O.P. for Post Office Place.







The firm stayed in that location until they moved to a new factory in Brunswick. The commemorative token was minted there.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have something from 1854-1858?

1st December 2019

New tailor’s button:

Blainey’s Sydney

Charles Gough Blainey (1894-1959) set up his tailoring business in George Street, Sydney around 1924. Due to growth of his business, he moved to the Strand Arcade three years later. Around 1927 he registered the firm as a limited company, then in 1938 as a propriety limited concern.

The Labor Daily, 8th September 1928.

Arrow, 14th September 1928.

The Labor Daily, 17th January 1929.

By 1966 (seven years after Mr. Blainey’s death) the firm was in financial difficulty, and by 1973 it was deregistered.

29th November 2019

New finds: Beutron

These are all Beutron “Originals” which included imported glass examples (silver lustered black glass at bottom), metal and metalised plastic (gold escutcheon in gray border). 1950s.

The ‘boil-tested’ buttons from England are mounted on a Beutron card.  I haven’t seen this before. This plastic is different to the home-grown Beutrons, harder and less glossy.


28th November 2019

New Menswear Store button (Thanks Helen):

Peapes & Co, George Street, Sydney:







In 1866 George Peapes (1838-1898) and William Shaw (1835-1915) bought the business of Michael Goulston at 355 George Street.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 4th June 1866.

 From 1888 they specialised in menswear. Mr Shaw retired in 1891 and moved to Wagga to start a new business. In 1898 Mr Peapes died, and later that year the firm became a limited company.

As business increased over the years the premises became too small, so in 1905 it underwent a major refurbishment. The follow photos were published in The Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser on the 13th September, 1905.

In 1915 they planned to raze the building, as it was still inadequate but this was delayed due to the War.

A selection of suits available in 1916.

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney),12th December 1923.

In the Sydney Mail, 19th December 1923, there was much interest in the new Georgian Revival style Peapes Building. This was located opposite to the site of the original business.

“View of Hunter-street, showing Peapes and Co’s new building, which commands the George-street end.”

“A corner of the ground floor.”

“The first floor in the new Peapes building, showing the balustrade of the centre gallery.”

“A corner of the handsome room on the first floor.”

In the Powerhouse Museum collection. 1920s.

In 1970  the business closed and the building was sold. The demolition of a neighbouring building over the last couple of years uncovered an old painted advertisement on the side of the former store.


27th November 2019

I have (finally) carded up (on replica cards) a selection of Beutron Originals, with every colour cabochon and every metallic finish (silver, gold and old gold) that I have. There are 4 sizes: approx 14, 18, 22 and 28 mm diametre. For comparison, I have included details from 1950s adverts and from  vintage cards of buttons. See also the Beutron 1950s advertising page.

28mm in mushroom, navy blue, khaki, tan, yellow and dark brown.

22mm in green, burgundy and steel-blue. 18mm mushroom, brown, steel blue, skye blue, navy blue and tan.

14mm dark brown, steel blue, purple, and red. The black ‘flower’ is the only one of that design in my collection.

18mm in grey, dark brown, pale green, steel blue and green. 14mm in pink, burgundy and black.

11mm in burgundy, royal blue, pale green, steel blue, yellow, dark brown, dark green and black.

14mm in burgundy, brown, dark brown x 2, acid yellow and brown. 18mm in olive green, cream, green, grey and brick red.

22mm in khaki, dark brown, royal blue and pale yellow.

11mm in royal blue (in gold and silver) dark brown (in gold, silver and old gold), tan, and skye blue (in gold and silver). 11mm in black, green, pink and pale yellow.

18mm navy blue, scarlet, sky blue, tan and pink.

Pat also shared a card of her ‘Originals’, see

26th November 2019

I’m going to revisit Birmingham as I have received a photo of the factory of James Grove and Sons in 1950.

This company was established in 1857 and ceased trading in 2012. They were one of the largest horn button manufacturers in the world. A large part of their output was uniform buttons.  As well as horn, they also made casein, polyester, nylon, leather, corozo and shell buttons. The Lining Company is maintaining their web site out of historical interest. See

New finds: Beauclaire

I’d been looking for this design, as it appears in a 1954 advertisement. It’s small, only 1 cm across the ‘base’ of the triangle. Perhaps it would have been more of a dress ornament than functional button.

From a 1954 advert.

The button below I already have in multiple colours, but not this mid-brown.