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Antique Australia brooch made by Willis

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Antique Australia brooch made by Willis

A brief history about Willis and Sons:

Willis and Sons were first established in 1858 by Richard and Thomas Willis, who were jewellery importers and wholesalers. They imported clocks, silver and electro-plated pieces as well making a name for themselves as a leading manufacturer of jewellery. There jewellery often reflected the native Australian flora and fauna with brooches often being in the form of a boomerang often with an Australian animal for example. By the turn of the century the firm had become Australia’s leading gold jewellery manufacturer and after 1931 continued just as importers after closing the manufacturing side of the business down.

This particular brooch is seen on page 274 of the book, Australian Jewellers: Gold & Silversmiths, Makers & Marks, by Kenneth Cavill, Graham Cocks, and Jack Grace.

King Edward VII first officially granted of a coat of arms to the Commonwealth of Australia, in a Royal Warrant on 7 May 1908.

The first Coat of Arms was a simple shield of white and blue. On the shield was the cross of St George, with five six-pointed white stars along the cross and six small escutcheons (small shields) around the edge of the shield.

The shield was supported by a kangaroo and an emu standing on a grassy mound and above the shield was the crest containing the seven-pointed gold star of Federation on a wreath of white and blue.  The motto ‘Advance Australia’ was inscribed at the base of the grassy mound.

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