G. J. Coles/ Embassy brand: 1929-1994

G. J. Coles

George James (G. J.) Coles opened his first variety store in 1914 in Collingwood, Melbourne.  During the 1920’s more stores were opened.

Embassy brand

In 1929 the ‘Embassy’ brand was launched, initially for gramophone records, but over the years extending to hundreds of products. The brand was discontinued in 1994.  See  https://www.coles.com.au/about-coles/centenary  At some stage in the 1980-90s Coles sold cards of buttons under the name ‘Haby Habits”. These, like the Embassy buttons, were labelled as being made in Australia. Over the years various logos were used.  You’ll notice the changes in the examples to follow. The buttons were supplied by General Plastics initially, then G.Herring later on.

 

1947-1951

Note that although this logo was used from 1947, the cards of buttons probably date from a couple of years later.

 

 

 

 

 

These glass buttons are marked West Germany, and the clear, Czechoslovakia.

c.1952-1958

 

1959- early 1960s

1959-1970

 

 

 

 

 

The first cards featuring the map of Australia had rounded corners and no prices printed upon them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The card on the right is a hybrid between the previous Embassy cards with rounded corners, and those to follow with squared corners and Beutron type added cotton.

Early-mid 1960s

Prices are printed onto the cards.

Some of these appear on Leda and Kencrest cards.

The famous ducks.

1966

Dual pricing (imperial/decimal) printed on the cards. The buttons are stapled instead of sewn onto the cards. Thankfully, this was a short lived trend.

1967-1970

 

1971-1980s

Transfer printing on ‘water-white’ (?) cellulose actetate.

Figural Buttons:

Beauclaire Tiny Tots design elephant and ducks from the 1950s.

New Finds:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HabyHabits: 1980s-90s

These three designs all hark back to the 1950s, even 1940s.