Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bakelite, Lucite or fakelite. I don't care I loveite!

Oh dear, what is this? A pagan, loving plastic? Ah but this is not any plastic my friends, this is vintage plastic!

Bakelite was an accidental creation in the 1900s by Dr. Baekeland and was one of the earliest plastics widely used, from telephones, radios and light switches. Another use for the plastic was jewellery and it could come in a variety of playful colours and different designs including bangles, necklaces and brooches.
Some of the more rarer colours and highly detailed carved bracelets sell for a lot of money but if you know where to look bargains can still be found.

I have a few bangles, some that I have tested and are Bakelite and others I think might be Lucite, another early plastic or maybe 'Fakelite', the term used for knock-offs, I hope they are not but it doesn't really matter to me as I only paid a couple of quid for them and not hundreds like some pieces fetch!

Some Bakelite jewellery have nature as a theme like this beautiful acorn and leaf necklace.

Or this cherry one.

The colour of Bakelite make it look good enough to eat! Yum!

Fellow blogger, Tempermental broad posted a great blog post all about Bakelite including how to test it what type of plastic you have.

The best places to buy Bakelite from are etsy and eBay and although some of the prices are extortionate if you know what you are looking for then you can find pieces that have been listed incorrectly and as such won't attract a lot of bidders.
So far my collection consists of at least 3 true Bakelite bangles, however I have seem to mislaid my mah-jong tile bracelet at time of writing and I hope it turns up soon and I have not lost it!

The bottom two bangles in this photo have tested as Bakelite but I am still unsure about the top two but I love them all.

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