Friday, June 23, 2017

Dick Tracy!


Watch out, "Big Boy" Caprice! Here's what I've nicknamed my "Dick Tracy" button. A creamed corn square on a cherry red square, this art deco policeman is cleaning the streets (and wooing Breathless Mahoney) in all-out style. Named after one of my favorite movies of all time, the straightforward design on this button smacks of the film's visual palette, striking graphics and gorgeously bold, comic-strip flare. Directed by Warren Beatty (and starring Beatty as well), Dick Tracy was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1990. As a fanatical teenager, I watched the movie five times in theaters and still swoon at this candy-coated gem of cinematography.

-Sherbert McGee     

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Little Rootbeer Toe


For ages now I've had this stubby button in my collection and I can't remember where I picked it up. A molasses-hued chunk of sweet Bakelite capped at both ends with brass pins, if this button were a Native American Indian, he would be named Little Rootbeer Toe. For a long time I've hoped to find a matching companion for this lonely guy, but I'm starting to think he's the only one of his kind in the world.

-Sherbert McGee

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Peanut Butter Mudslide


Back during its manufacture in the 1930's or early 40's, there must've been a strident buzz in the factory when industrial tools came down on this button made of brownish-moss Bakelite. The button appears to be in the midst of a mudslide! My friend Doreen compares the central ooze to a dramatic swipe across peanut butter as if someone literally slicked their finger through this messy marvel. To me, this button is an aerial view of a rapid flood wending its way through a jinxed canyon. However you look at it, there's a smeary brilliance depicted in this button's super-carved extravagance.  

Visit Doreen's online store
Click here: BUTTONS FROM THE ATTIC


-Sherbert McGee    

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summertime Swirl


Expressing a wavy hydraulic effect, here's a free-flowing button made of apple juice Bakelite that's got a swirled design stemming out from under a metal cap. I love the way carved lines on clear Bakelite can give the impression of a moving rippleor in this case, a hypnotic whirlpool. Today's the first day of summer and if I could swim in a button I'd dive head-first into this one for sure. 

Visit Doreen's online store
Click here: BUTTONS FROM THE ATTIC


-Sherbert McGee

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bits of Butterscotch


Talk about a gold rush! Here's a smattering of Bakelite buttons, as small as they come, in the sunny color known as butterscotch. Centered in this photo, the smoothest of these babies shines with a true golden-honey tone. My favorite is the gear at the bottom with its nubby cogs. For more of these itty-bitty buttons, I've got a surprise coming: Next month I'll be posting a full week of "Bakelite bits!"

-Sherbert McGee      

Friday, June 16, 2017

Stones of Armageddon


Just look at this mighty pair of coat buttons from the 1930's. Cavernous gouges were made in the Bakelite to form sunken voids that resemble meteor craters. Adding to the effect, carved lines give the appearance of a violent crash as if this matching set survived a cataclysmic explosion. I love the spacey drama of these battered rocks. The color is not black, but the darkest of browns: nicknamed espresso by Bakelite fanatics. Get out of these buttons way. They look ready to summon the Gods. 

-Sherbert McGee

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Debonair Square


What you see here is my idea of a picture-perfect button. This handsome zinger has everything: deco-era carvings enriching a plump square in a pristine tone of creamed-corn Bakelite. The ivory coloring and symmetrical engravings make for one debonair dude. With hardly a trace of scuffing and no flaws or stains, I have to wonder if this button was owned by the suavest popinjay in all of 1927. Whatever the case, it's a swell hunk of classy plastic.

Visit Doreen's online store 
Click here: BUTTONS FROM THE ATTIC


-Sherbert McGee

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bakelite: AJ and Rootbeer


You probably wouldn't combine apple juice and rootbeer when it comes to beverages, but in the way of Bakelite buttons...why not? Here's a bright mound of rootbeer hovering beautifully in a reflective pool of apple juice, not blended, but definitely situated together effectively. A large button with loads of shine-power, this lovely looker is a bracing drink for the eyes.

-Sherbert McGee

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Toggle Tuesday: Triple Notched


My Internal Bakelite Detector (IBD) is typically pretty spot on when I visit antique shops or rummage through vintage clutter in flea markets and heirloom bazaars. That being the case, when I first saw this oblong treasure in a basket full of ragtag odds and ends, I knew right away that it was Bakelite. Yet what surprised me was that this prime slab of greenery isn't an olden-day pin for a lady's blouse. In fact, it's a toggle button featuring three evenly rendered notches that almost have the look of a boy scout's handiwork on a wooden stick. By the estimation of the antique shopkeeper who sold me this lucky toggle, it probably dates back to the early 1920's. Very cool.

-Sherbert McGee   

Monday, June 12, 2017

Eye of Eyes


Here's a jet-black button that must've been fun to design. The eye-shaped middle section dips inwards as if custom-made for gliding one's thumb into the sculpted basin. Inside the eye are 13 chiseled spots that remind me of smaller eyesall peeping out of the larger eyeball. The carved lines traveling to the edge of this button are possibly eyelashes. Tested as Bakelite, circa 1935.

-Sherbert McGee