Monthly Archives: November 2019

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

Please note the new address of this blog is:


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.

23mm in teal.

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.

23mm in dark brown

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.

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.



25th November 2019

PLEASE NOTE: The address for this blog has changed to


New Beutron finds:

Beutron used to display the design number on the cards, both large and small, possibly from the late 21940s-early 1950s. This is a new style; number 879.

For a review of other styles, see:


Early 1960s.

The card on the right displays dyed mother-of-pearl buttons.

Mid-late 1960s.

23rd November 2019

Please note the new address of this blog is:


New finds from Carol:

Absolutely fabulous! Three different sized uniform buttons from the Australasian United Steam Navigation Company, backmarked with three differing Australian suppliers; C. Hemsley (Sydney), W. Johns (Brisbane) and Stokes & Sons (Melbourne). See below for information about W. Johns.

House Flag

Came to Brisbane from Sydney in 1842 as an agent for the Hunter River Steam Navigation Company, which would be merged into the A.S.N. Co. then finally the A.U.S.N Co.

This shipping company was formed in 1887 from the merger of two other companies, and lasted until 1961. The articles below both came from The Mercury (Hobart) 9th March 1887.

In 1940 one of their ships ran aground near Barwon heads during a storm. A newspaper reported that ” the bursting of an oil pipe in the Orungal fortuitously spread a calming film of oil over the sea and made it possible to bring the lifeboat alongside to pick up the first load of 17 passengers and 23 seamen.” The mind boggles.

W. Johns, Brisbane:

William Johns was born in Cornwall, England in 1867. He had come to Queensland by 1894, and by 1905 was living in Edwards Street, Brisbane. In 1906 “W. Johns & Co”, drapers, bought the business of Sidle & Co, and were located at the corner of Edwards and Queen Street. By now they described themselves as an Emporium. In 1908 they had expanded to a “department store” although it was in reality a large drapery. There were a men’s, fancy goods, toys, milinery and ready-made costume “departments”. In 1913 the company purchased the business of Edward Shields Ltd, and were calling the store “the Crystal Emporium” In 1923 they opened a second store at Fiveways, Woolloongabba, called “The Fiveways Supply Store”. The Queens Street store was being advertised for sale as an ongoing concern mid 1929, with the Fiveways store later the same year. Perhaps William was retiring? He died in 1942.

The Telegraph, 27th June 1928.

The Telegraph, 27th August, 1929.




22nd November 2019

I bought a circa 1954 ‘WOMAN’ cut pattern for a girls romper just because it contained a nice folded Beauclaire advertising brochure. So if you want the pattern…just ask:

Do you think this pattern suggests that you could button a skirt and alternative neckline onto the basic romper?

Versions of these buttons are still being produced.

The hearts and daisies are described as being available in pearlised-pastels. The gumdrops are described as ‘pastel clear sparkling crystal’. The flower button adorning the sun-bonnet was available in ’18 bright, gay kiddie colours’. General plastic tried to promote their buttons by designing slightly strange dress patterns that involved excessive quantities of buttons. You could write to them to buy te patterns for 3/9 each.

20th November 2019


“Googling” for Beutron and Beauclaire buttons, I came across images from old blogs and on Instagram. Apologies to all and sundry for “lifting” your images, although I think some of the blogs aren’t active, and I haven’t a clue about Instagram!! A couple were for sale online.

This button forms the escutcheon on the buttons I shared a few days ago.