Thursday, October 20, 2016

No Frills: Apple Juice

This past summer I dug through a stash of my mother-in-law's buttons, including a vintage lot that she'd owned for nearly 50 years. Among that stew of oldies, I found this large apple juice button with a customary carving of blandly typical rings. It's not the most exciting button, but it's classic Bakelite from the Great Depression era and that's exciting enough for me. As unshowy as a button may be, there's no such thing as discardable Bakelite.

-Sherbert McGee 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Beaded Bakelite

Every now and then I find a button that showcases a really interesting bead. Voila! Here's just the thing in a brown octagon made of Bakelite. The glass bead is a burgundy marble that's streaked in black and dotted in reflective crystals. It almost looks like a little nod to Mars or some other planet with a variegated surface. The Bakelite is just a frame for the bead, but it has its charms too with a ridged construction and a deep, chocolatey tone.

Visit Doreen's online store

-Sherbert McGee  

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Definitive Superstar

A substantial chunk of swirled butterscotch Bakelite forms the stage for this huge 2-tone button with a bold decorativeness and impressive composure. Topped in a licorice crown and etched all the way around, the focal point of this wowzer is a beautifully incised flower design made up of five petals. I've had this button in my collection for several years now, but I don't recall where I found this major charmer. It's one of the largest buttons that I own and definitely archetypal of Bakelite's famously eye-catching poise and stamina. Made circa 1930. 
-Sherbert McGee

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Wacky Bananas!

One of my absolute favorites, this eyeful of style is a vintage model of flamboyant Art Deco and a monkey's brunch! The main yellow section of this button is custard Bakelite, bunched at the base in a bright green accent piece that is also Bakelite. (It's like this button is wearing a button.) Proof that the world had a sense of humor once, this might've dominated a dandy's shirt at Jay Gatsby's last great jamboree. Made in the 1920's and oozing with all the panache of a flapper on her way to Woolworth's to buy a copy of Town Tattle magazine, I'm bananas about this lulu of a keepsake.

-Sherbert McGee 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Marooned Again

Normally, I don't go after Bakelite buttons unless they possess a striking feature or an unusual element that sets them apart from other vintage finds. However, if I come across a Bakelite button that's maroon in color, that's pretty much all it takes for me to snap it up. These plain Janes aren't too extravagant, but that's okay. They are maroon Bakelite and that's good enough for me.

-Sherbert McGee  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Slashed Blossom

This flower buttons looks to have been carved in a sloppy hurry by Edward Scissorhands himself! The Bakelite is a hazy rendition of apple juice that always reminds me of weathered beach glass with its frosted and roughened appearance. As for the slashed mode of the incised detail, every slit looks like a swiftly rendered knife-wound, albeit with attractive results. Gashed, scratched, nicked and pruned, this old button underwent some serious cutting.    

-Sherbert McGee  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Toggle Tuesday: Tootsie Roll Deluxe

As a kid I couldn't stand Tootsie Rolls and found them to be especially offensive on Halloween when they'd show up like dreaded turds in my trick-or-treater's pail. Despite that repulsion, one thing I did enjoy was the classic jingle that went along with the TV commercials: Whatever it is I think I see, becomes a Tootsie Roll to me! In any case, this chocolate toggle reminds me of an extra fancy Tootsie Roll with carved and undulating stripes. As a brand of dime-store candy these are utterly gross, but as inspiration for a Bakelite button I'm definitely okay with Tootsie Rolls.

-Sherbert McGee 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The King of Thailand

A few years ago I visited Thailand and traveled up and down the country, starting with Phuket and Koh Phi Phi in the south and then onto to Bangkokthe country's capital. From there, I took a bus northward and visited the Sukhothai province and also Chiang Mai, a tropical and vibrant city in the mountainous highlands. Throughout my travels I visited many Buddhist temples giving prominence to traditional Thai architecture with tiered roofs adorned with rows of jagged edges called lamyong. The lamyong are sculpted and blade-like projections, which are distinctly Thai and tremendously exotic. This Bakelite button, a heavily-carved masterpiece in butterscotch, reminds me of the spiky rooftops on the temples that epitomize Thailand.   

-Sherbert McGee    

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hooped Buttons

Some of my most unique buttons are these interlocked hoops in cherry and creamed corn Bakelite. This set of triplets came into my collection last spring and they are truly amazing. Acquired at an estate sale by my friend Doreen, these are not your vapid, day-to-day blouse ornaments. No siree, these are lively buttons with a twist. Blame it on the innovative fashion quirks of the 1920's or early 1930's for a set of buttons that look like they belong on a monkey's kimono.

Visit Doreen's online store

-Sherbert McGee     

Friday, October 7, 2016

Rootbeer Bubbles

Someday I'm going to post a rootbeer button in an actual puddle of rootbeer, but not today. This rootbeer button is already carbonated enough with a gleaming and orderly array of nineteen carved bubbles (or loops) on its sunlit surface. An attractive button with effervescent charm, I present this button today as a sparkling toast to my favorite vintage mania: BAKELITE!

-Sherbert McGee