Tuesday, January 17, 2017
It might be my favorite scene from any movie when Charlie Bucket finds a golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It's a moment of consummate happiness that stays exciting for me every time I go back and watch it. But what's this to do with buttons? Well, I'll tell you... Picked for today's Bakelite presentation, I'm showcasing two buttons in milk chocolate Bakelite with grooved patterns that really do smack of creamy edibles. Of course, these are not actual servings of chocolate, but for me every Bakelite button as winsome as these is as good as a melt-in-your-mouth Wonka Bar.
Thank you, Roald Dahl.
Monday, January 16, 2017
Shape-wise, this button does something unusually artful and wily. For the most part, it's a modest black button in shiny licorice Bakelite, but slick your thumb over the surface and prepare for the dip! An outer edge section of this button swoops downwards for an Art Deco plunge that's positively clever. A few carved slits along the brim of "the swoop" bring some added interest to this vintage oddity from the 1930's. A real joyride of a button.
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Friday, January 13, 2017
You better believe I don't throw around the word "wowser" on behalf of any old button. I stand by my word. This button's a rare superstar in terms of design, scale and structure. It's Bakelite: alternating in the middle square with root beer and apple juice stripes and then augmented at both ends in wide pieces of rounded, root beer bumpers. All in all, this button is made up of 8 Bakelite sections—each of them fitted together to form this vast hunk of flapper-approved style. Imagine it: the designer coat this button hung on must've been a majorly vogue triumph.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
I've always been fascinated by the toothed wheels that comprise the intricate mechanisms inside of a clock. No wonder I'm in love with this gear-shaped button with its twenty cogs and frontal design of jumbled rings encircling dots. Regarding its greenish visual flavor, Bakelite experts call this color moss—although I've also heard it referred to as split pea soup. This is a chunky button, caked in a dash of patina going back to the 1930's.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Today's buttons are a mother-daughter set of Bakelite bowls in the same colors and striped order of the Belgian flag. A strip of deep butterscotch Bakelite is sandwiched between cherry red and licorice black. Two-tone buttons in Bakelite are highly desirable enough, so imagine my excitement when I found these tricolor bowls at some point during my antique button hunting. Needless to say, these bowled me over.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
It's Tuesday and it's time for a toggle. This one has the look of a pitch black bombshell. As I study this large button, I imagine a German scientist unveiling his newfangled explosive during the prewar years when weapons of mass destruction were darkening Europe. It's a snazzy (Art Deco) toggle, but there's a fateful gloominess to it as well. Curiously enough, sometimes what's bleak is chic.
Monday, January 9, 2017
Owing to my memory of certain shoes, I've always viewed burgundy as a sort of fuddy-duddy color. And so it is with certain buttons. This unshowy piece looks conservative and a bit boring. Thin and chip-like, vintage buttons like this one are of the flimsier make. In all likelihood, this is a "poor man's" button of the Great Depression. It's a low-grade type of Bakelite, but I've got several buttons in this style to round out my collection. Anyhow, when something's this old, you don't criticize it too much. —Circa 1935.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Celebrating the 300th post on this blog, here's a set of buttons that are undoubtedly among my greatest finds. A green Bakelite base gives rise to a bright orange layer (also Bakelite) and a shiny butterscotch top segment that is pure Bakelite as well. A Bakelite bonanza! Dating back to the 1930's, these strikingly colorful buttons are big, bold and bodacious. When vintage buttons are this beautiful, they're not so much buttons as they are specimens of objet d'art.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Is anybody out there hungry for pie? Here's a Bakelite button in that chocolatey color we Bakelite fanatics call Mississippi Mud. Cut for a serving of six, it's no light snack. Additional details consist of shallow etches giving this rugged goodie a chiseled texture of lip-smacking embellishments. It's a classic example of how Bakelite emulates a tasty indulgence, but don't be fooled. As fattening as it looks, this is definitely a coat button from the 1930's.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Talk about your buttony throwbacks. These buttons have a real charm about them, replete with all the old-timey appeal of a vintage soda shop. Sometimes Bakelite buttons exude bonus vibes when it comes to being antiquated treasures and these three sisters do that with their classic loveliness going back to the 1920's. I'm under their spell, obviously. Cream-toned buttons with a ridged middle-stripe in cherry red, they've had my attention ever since they entered my collection several years ago. It goes without saying: Bakelite beguiles.