Monthly Archives: April 2018

30th April 2018

I recently was asked about the range of  backmarks employed by Stokes & Sons over the years. To my knowledge they include:
Please let me know if there are more!

From the The Australasian, 18th September 1915.  At Stokes and Sons: Left: “Hand presses cutting out badges and buttons”  Right: Brazing shanks on badges.

From the City of Melbourne Collection. depicting a lane with a sign informing that Stokes & Sons have moved. This would be Caledonian Lane. The firm moved in 1935.

I started to wonder as to who the “& Sons” were?
Thomas and his wfe, Ellen, had 9 children, 8 of whom survived to adulthood. Of these, Henry Richmond (1861-1i919), Frederick Percy (1863-1939), Thomas William (1871-1913) and Edgar Vincent (1878-1932) were involved in the firm. Another son, Charles Sydney (1874-1939), was a customs and shipping agent, but not part of the family business as far as I can ascertain.

Sportsman(Melbourne) 9th July 1884. Both Henry and Frederick were keen cyclists.

Obituary from the Herald  27th September 1932:
The death took place yesterday at his home in Monara Road, Kooyong, of Mr Vincent Edgar Stokes, principal in Stokes and Sons Pty. Ltd., near Post Office Place. Mr Stokes was widely known among sporting and other clubs as a maker of medals and metal badges.For a long period, he had been contractor to the Victoria Racing Club, the Victoria Amateur Turf Club, the Defence and other Government departments, and was formerly the contractor for the supply of badges to the Melbourne Cricket Club. He has left a widow and family. The burial took place today in the Brighton Cemetery.

The Age 21st October 1939

28 April 2018


Felt accessories. Lace frills . Military styling. Shoulder lines. Wasp waists. Jacket suits. Smart hats and gloves. Straw hats. Red.
















A very special button:

This button was bought by a club member at an Op-shop for 5 cents. Sob!

There is no markers mark on the back, however it is marked as sterling silver. It may possibly be the work of William Edwards, a reknown silversmith from gold rush era Melbourne.

The Australasian (Melb) 29th October 1870.

Whilst kangaroos and emus were common motifs, this example of his work does demonstrate similar palm trees/tree ferns.  If not his work, it  probably is the same era, 1850-1870s.

From the Museum of Arts and Applied Science.




27th April 2018


Rich colours, especially pink. Edwardian and Victorian styles. Large jewels. Imitation jewels. Pearls, sequins and diamantes. Fans. Brushed up hair held with combs. Large belt buckles (still). Pins and clips. Puffed sleeves with sharp silhouettes. War brings new austerity. Propeller brooches. Turbans.


New Finds:










Cute pale pink heart buttons. The card is scored so that the shaft can be pushed through before the front is shrink wrapped, doing away with the need to sew or staple the buttons onto the card.

Below is a uniform button from the Country Fire Authority. This one is by A. J. Parkes (the other one in my collection is by Stokes). Unlike the Stokes button, the text is slightly larger, and there is not a dot on both sides of the word ‘Victoria’.



24th April 2018


Oriential influence continues.  Little gold buttons. Novelty designs. Shiaparelli. The Coronation. The Duke of Windsor and Wallis.

For sale at Farmer’s.

From Gabolonz; metallic lace buttons, buckles and clasps.


23rd April 2018


Elegance. Oriental influences. Novelty designs in accessories increase in popularity, such as hats,fruit, vegetables, animals, flowers and leaves. Jewelled buttons, clips, brooches, pendants, ear-rings and buckles.



Oriental themes: Fan shaped buckles and at the top, embossed with chinese characters.

A “necktie buckle’ and a wooden flower button.

Three medallions set in gilt filigree and coloured stones,linked by gold chain for a formal belt.

Oriental designs such as dragon motifs.


musical buttons

gold and silver daisy buttons and clasps.


Star shaped paste buttons.


New discovery:

Whilst checking uniform buttons in my collection for a club member,Don King, I made a discovery. The backmark on a Victorian Police button was “STOKES & SONS  P.O.P.MELB” The P.O.P. stands for Post Office Place, which was the section of Little Bourke Street between Elizabeth and Queen Streets. I was aware that from around 1888 until the company moved to Brunswick in 1935, the company was located at Caledonian Lane. However, Caledonian Lane runs into Lt Bourke,; the postal address was actually 246 and one half, Post Office Place!


22nd April 2018


Buckles in crystal, mosaic, wood or leather , gold or chromium. Mirrored buttons. Shorter skirts and lower waistlines. Navy shoes. Hand -made silk or velvet flowers. Braid ‘frogs’ and barrel buttons on coats. The introduction of novelty designs including animals and flowers.

Elephant buckle sold at Myers.









New finds:

Australian National Airways: 1936-1957

A.N.A was registered in 1936 from the joining of Holyman’s and Adelaide Airways. In 1937 it obtained a controlling interest in Airlines of Australia (AoA). The company’s DC-3 aircraft were requisitioned by the Government during the war and it provided services around Australia for the war effort, including for American forces. After the war it faced competition from Trans Australian Airways (TAA), the state run airline that would ultimately lead to the company’s decline. ANA was sold to Ansett in 1957 forming Ansett-ANA, which was renamed Ansett Airlines of Australia in 1968.

“Wing Your Way with ANA”

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 6th December 1941


20th April 2018


Large coat buttons. Chrome, erinoid, wood, horn, tagua nut, MOP. Trim and tailored. Mirror buttons. Hair swept backwards. Capes and jackets.

Astrakhan is the dark curly fleece of young karakul lambs from central Asia.

Mirror glass buttons.






















New finds:

A new Beauclaire design in 4 colours and 2 sizes. The design is quite detailed, with concentric circles of rectangles divided diagonally into 4 (like little flags).


18th April 2018


Buttons on shoes, gloves, frocks, jumpers, blouses and coats in pearl, nickle, gilt, brass, wood, porcelain, bone, but particularly metal. Crochet. ‘Mannish’ tailoring. Lounge pyjamas. Hems shorter (6 inches below the knee).

This lady was a specialist designer of fashion accessories, especially in leather and metal.

Buttons and buckle of cut steele.

New finds:

The brown may be a Coronet (it’s similar in style). The blue is similar (?Copied) to a Beutron,. The white is a Beutron Boil-proof, and the pink a Beauclaire. The Grey is one of many variants Beutron made from this basic pattern in the 1950s.

From Carol:

Coronets. NB/ the 2nd row are American buttons.

17th April 2018


Chrome Buttons still popular. Brass, wood, balls and domes. Embossed and enamelled. Military touches. Knitwear. Belts of filigree metal links. Fringes. Velvet. Hats worn at an angle. Bows. Capes. ‘Amusing’ buttons start appearing in geometric shapes.








Gorgeous buttons from Pat; possibly casein.