Some hints on dating Stokes buttons.
Please note that this firm was quite variable, perhaps even inconsistent, in the backmarking of their buttons. This list may not be complete. For the various company titles; either no place name, or ‘Melbourne’, or ‘Melb’ was used. Later on some had ‘Victoria’, ‘Vic’ or ‘Australia’. A few have ‘Sydney’ or ‘P.O.P. Melb’.
While “& Sons” must date before 1962, on small buttons this was left off due to lack of room even before that date. As I said, inconsistent! You may need to look for other clues such as Royal cyphers and crowns, and the dating of companies and departments depicted.
For more details, see the Stokes & Sons page.
1854-1867: Stokes Maker, T. Stokes
1867-1893: Stokes & Martin, Stokes & Martin Maker
?1893: Stokes Maker, Stokes & Son (unconfirmed)
1888-1935: Stokes & Sons P.O.P. Melb (for Post Office Place)
1900-1915: Stokes & Sons Sydney
c1893-1962: Stokes & Sons
1962-2013: Stokes(A’asia) Ltd, Stokes
Note that anodised aluminum buttons (Staybrite) were produced by Stokes from 1953 according to an article written in 1956. The button below therefore can be dated quite closely.
This button is of rose-gold anodised aluminium. That dates it to 1953. In June that year Elizabeth II was crowned Monarch, and soon after requested that the Tudor crown (as used by her father) be replaced by the St Edward’s crown. This button was therefore out of date almost as soon as it was made, although there was a period of transition were the old crown was used.
These 3 sizes of RAAF buttons all have the St Edward’s Crown, are Staybrite type and say Stokes Melb. Therefore they are definitely post 1953 and probably post 1962. The similar buttons below says Stokes & Sons Melb, so date between 1953-1962.