Friday, September 22, 2017

First-Day-of-Autumn Button


Hello there, fall of 2017! Celebrating the start of a new season as well as the autumnal equinox, here's a lavishly sculpted button in moss Bakelite. The central feature on this button is a voluptuous leaf hovering over a textured abundance of tiny circles. When I first laid eyes on this button, I was knocked senseless. It is an exquisite example of carved Bakelite. Also pictured here is half of a Bakelite dress clip in a tone of bright avocado. My sister found this pretty scrap of vintage plastic at an antique store and sent it to me last year in hopes that it would find its way into a photo session. Alas, here it is as a prop for this mossy wowzer. Since we're officially in the fall season and also because I love leaves, I'm going to post a whole week of leaf-shaped buttons next month. Get set for a leafy week some time after the midpoint of October. I hereby vow to leaf you breathless!

-Sherbert McGee  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Last-Day-of-Summer Button


Farewell summer of 2017! While today is the last day of the summer, I'm posting this epic blossom in bright orange juice Bakelite with merry carvings and petals flared. This mint-condition and sizable button sports all the glowing characteristics of OJ Bakelite: Its coloring is warm and classy. In a few spots some swirls are visible and overall this vintage keeper is teeming with summery flair.   

-Sherbert McGee

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Swoony Maroony


This humongous maroon button owns my heart with its rounded triangular shape and glass-like feel. Seductively smooth, each corner of this brightly polished bombshell dips into a steep hollow. I love maroon Bakelite and this one is very maroon (and very Bakelite). Although its original frock is lost and gone forever, this dashing relic emanates an ageless magic. Perfectly perfect, from the 1920's.

-Sherbert McGee

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wavy Weirdo


Carved and sculpted and carved some more, this beautifully complex button earned its nicknamethe wavy weirdofrom my friend Doreen. Shaved with zigzags and then etched with zigzags on top of those zigzags, the whole button is contoured like a mystifying gem. Made of apple juice Bakelite and brimming with light, this photo barely displays the undulating facets of this perplexing zinger.

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


-Sherbert McGee 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Starry Rootbeer


Added to my collection earlier this summer, this enormous Bakelite button presents a rootbeer base with an apple juice dome that's carved from beneath in the shape of a six-pronged star. What really drew me to this button is the way the star appears to be hovering inside the Bakelite like a sealed work of art. Plunked here in the midday sun, the starry carving is noticeably faceted. circa 1929.  

-Sherbert McGee 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Philadelphia Bakelite


Back when I first got bitten by the Bakelite bug, one of the more collectible variations that I learned about is a type of hard-to-find plastic that's bears the nickname: Philadelphia Bakelite. So what is it? From what I've gathered, Philadelphia Bakelite is a specific color-combination of Bakelite brought together on the same item, be it a button or a bracelet. Not all connoisseurs and collectors agree on what these colors are, but generally the combination includes butterscotch and/or creamed corn, chocolate brown, green and either orange or bright cherry red. Some experts will also insist that a true Philadelphia-style button entails a requisite shape. The two buttons, which I've posted today, are both Philadelphia Bakelite with the green tone being the hardest to identify since it's a bit faded. Notice that the circular button is uniquely multicoloredboasting five distinct tones with a dash of creamed corn that is absent in the square-shaped button.

Here's a bit of history for those interested: Tracing the story of Philadelphia Bakelite back to its origins, in the 1960's a fluke discovery inside a Philadelphia warehouse brought a stockpile of old bracelets to light. The pristinely preserved bracelets were vintage Bakelite (in the aforementioned colors) going back to the 1920's or 30's. Collectors naturally went wild and the phrase "Philadelphia Bakelite" was born. The title has stuck to anything Bakelite that matches the required color combo. And as far as I know, that's the story of Philly-style Bakelite.

-Sherbert McGee

Friday, September 15, 2017

Highly Carved


Oftentimes, collectors of Bakelite talk about the "carved" variety and here's a button that perfectly displays what is meant by carved Bakelite. In this case, the carvings go around the button circularly and then slash across the circles for a look that's highly diced and quite dramatic. It's this amount of sculpted detail that exemplifies how no two carved Bakelite buttons are exactly alike.

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


-Sherbert McGee  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

OJ and Maroon


The bigger the better is my stance when it comes to buttons, but sometimes I buy small buttons if they sport a big personality. Case in point: these little guys are made of orange juice Bakelite with maroon rimsand it's this color combination that won me over. Even though these buttons only measure about 5/8 of an inch across, they sport a unique blend of cloudy orange and wine red. Made in the 1920's.

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


-Sherbert McGee

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Toggle Tuesday: Rainbow Spotted


Etched at both ends with seven cavities, this creamed corn toggle has been daubed in varicolored paint. I've held onto this Bakelite button for about five years now in hopes of finding a match for the beginning of a set, but it would seem that this cream-tone cylinder is hard to come by. So I only have this one, but that's fine by me. When it comes to 90-year-old buttons, even one is a bonanza.

-Sherbert McGee

Monday, September 11, 2017

Wired Licorice


Another stunning find from my friend Doreen, here's a licorice button that's trussed in metallic wiringpossibly strands of brass. I love how the four lengths of wire divvy up the button into alternating sections of smooth Bakelite and textured patches that depict a "wormy" design. The artistic effect gives this voguish button a dash of 1920's flair that recalls the signature style of Elsa Schiaparelli.

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


-Sherbert McGee