Friday, April 29, 2016

Cookies: Flowers

Here we are, folks! Bakelite cookie month ends today and here's the final post. Though I still have a few cookies tucked away, there won't be another hullabaloo of cookie buttons on this blog (at least not to this extent). Going forward, I'll refer to "April 2016" as the month cookies reigned. In closing, here's a bouquet of cookie flower buttons. Vintage Bakelite/1920's-30's. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to pour myself a glass of milk.

-Sherbert McGee

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cookies: Eensy Bits

These Bakelite cookie buttons are the tiniest of their kind and hard to examine without a proper zoom feature. Although I posted triangle and star cookies earlier this month, these are miniature versions of those buttons. They measure about half-an-inch across. If these buttons were any smaller I don't know how you'd work these smidgens through a buttonhole unless you had elf or gremlin fingers. The green one in the middle might be the smallest button I own.

-Sherbert McGee 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cookies: "Pressed" Buttons

Some Bakelite cookie buttons came in a style that's called a pressed button, referring to the factory process of buttons being stamped by mechanized tools. These three buttons show a variety of pressings: there's a pleated one in black that reminds me of a warped phonograph record, a bumpy-skinned newt in orange and a chocolate model with a brickwork pattern. My button-dealing friend, Doreen, introduced me to Bakelite cookies that are pressed and I think they're artful and quirky, which is how I like my buttons.

Visit Doreen's online store

-Sherbert McGee  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cookies: Lucky Stars

Today I counted my lucky stars and it seems I have five. Bakelite cookie buttons with stars on them aren't as rare as triangles (see my post from earlier this month on April 11th), but I think they might be the second rarest of the cookies. I just don't see them very often in my search efforts. Notice how the star button at the top of this photo doesn't have the same raised or "blistered" effect as the others. I bought these buttons last year at "Foxtail Antiques and Collectibles" in Des Moines, Iowa.

-Sherbert McGee

Monday, April 25, 2016

Cookies: Bandits of 1933

This whole month I've been showcasing Bakelite cookie buttons and memorializing this roundup of quaint rarities—all from the world of vintage plastic. In particular, I'm keen on this pair of striped buttons. Like masked gangsters, these cookies are more or less Bonnie and Clyde in Bakelite form. Bang! Bang! Straight out of the same year Ethel Waters sang "Stormy Weather" at The Cotton Club.

-Sherbert McGee 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Cookies: Pinwheels!

Another style of Bakelite cookie button is the pinwheel, or fan blade, design. These cookies have the look of art deco ventilators. Notice there are three sizes here. I purchased them all, one by one, from different button buffs and antique dealers around the USA. The big brown one came from a Bakelite collector who manages a booth at a "vintage finds" flea market in Miami, Florida. These buttons were made in the 1920's.

-Sherbert McGee

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cookies: The Main Ingredient

Notwithstanding the range of variety, all of the Bakelite cookie buttons that I'm posting this month have one thing in common. What's the commonality? I'll tell you. Each cookie button consists of two colors and one of those colors is invariably creamed corn—a yellowish tone that leans toward ivory or sometimes to a darker butterscotch. I have a theory that "cookies" are named as such because of this color's resemblance to baking dough or a spoonful of cake batter. 

-Sherbert McGee  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cookies: My Favorites

If I had to run into a burning building to rescue my Bakelite cookie buttons, this pair might be what I'd grab first. It's hard to choose favorites, but these two are right up there for me. I'm convinced that the green one can't be fairly photographed. It has to be studied in person to be fully believed with its outer-spacey border of lime juice swirls. The orange button is crimped, which I've never seen before and I wonder if this was the only crimped cookie that ever got made. Anyway, here they are, side by side: my hypothetical rescued-from-fire buttons.

-Sherbert McGee 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cookies: Circle & Square

From stars to pinwheels, with Bakelite cookie buttons there's always a geometric shape on display. I've yet to see a heart or a horseshoe, but here's a circle and a square—both edged in bright red. An interesting note about these two buttons is that they're both slightly bowl shaped. If it weren't for the buttonholes, you could use these to serve two teaspoons of Dr Pepper.

-Sherbert McGee

Monday, April 18, 2016

Cookies: Smurfy Wonders

Some Bakelite collectors call these "mushroom buttons" while others call them "bow ties," due to the shape of their dressy stripes. I think another name for them could be "Smurfy Wonders," but I don't expect this will catch on. The buttonholes on these stubby tots go through their bases. Situated at a few different angles, I tried to capture their quirky structure and funny curves. Definitely among the tiniest of the Bakelite cookie buttons, I only have three of these peewee gobbets.  

-Sherbert McGee  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Cookies: The Groovy Ones

Fluted, ridged, grooved, ribbed: how would you describe these Bakelite cookie buttons with their fanned-out seams? I call these buttons "scalloped" because they look to me like comely seashells. They are fairly large, measuring 1.5 inches across. Free from the dents and dings that are common on vintage buttons, these old beauties have fared well since their heyday in the 1930's.

-Sherbert McGee 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cookies: Before and After

These Bakelite cookie buttons could be putting on a "before and after" demonstration. The buttons are identical, both black-rimmed and of equal size, except the one on the right sports a bumpy, lizard-skin surface due to a factory "pressing" process while the button on the left did not undergo this treatment and retains its smooth appearance. Both buttons have their charms, but I'm mostly fond of Mister Toad. 

-Sherbert McGee

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cookies: Pudgy and Perfect

Most Bakelite cookie buttons lie flat, but this green-edged twosome is wonderfully chunky. Rotund buttons for sure, they're the bulkiest cookies in my collection and they've got lots of character too. I'm not a fan of lightweight or chintzy buttons, which makes these some of my favorites. They have a few scuff marks, but I just love these tubby scamps. They almost look like flotation devices.

-Sherbert McGee

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cookies: Toggle Tuesday

Maroon is not a color I see too often in the category of Bakelite cookie buttons. Added to the fact that these cookies are maroon toggles and we have a unique pair of vintage buttons here. These vibrant partners have the look of robust ammunition with creamed corn midsections. Attractive buttons through and through, they probably go back to the 1920'sreplete with a persistent shine. 

-Sherbert McGee

Monday, April 11, 2016

Cookies: Rare Triangles

My advice to anyone who decides to collect Bakelite buttons is that if you ever see a cookie button with a triangle on it...TAKE IT AND RUN! In my experience, these are the absolute hardest cookies to find. True Bakelite rarities, I have no idea why they're so scarce. These three triangles in black, red and butterscotch are set at the base of creamed corn hollows. I'd love to add a fourth one to my set, but until then I'll just be thankful and count these as pennies from heaven.

-Sherbert McGee

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cookies: Yin and Yang

The Ying and Yang variety of Bakelite cookie buttons came in a broad assortment of sizes, colors and textures. In my years of raking through antique stores, I've learned that these buttons are in high demand and for that reason they can be incredibly pricey. I won't admit how much I spent on the medium-sized red one, but let's just say it put a Chinese famine in my wallet.

-Sherbert McGee

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cookies: Mother and Daughter

My friend Doreen sent me these buttons last year while I was on a quest for any and every kind of Bakelite cookie that I could get my hands on. Based on the increasing rarity of these buttons, that was not an easy quest. This notable pair have polished moss bands going over their tops and unlike many of the wafer-thin cookies out there, these plus-sized beauties have some major heft. In fact, they are quite bodacious.  

Visit Doreen's online store

-Sherbert McGee

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cookies: Baby Buttons

Today's set of Bakelite cookie buttons are as small as they come, measuring about a half-inch across. They look like baby buttons or little spots of dough with a dab of color added. I wouldn't be surprised if buttons this tiny were originally sewn onto bibs or infancy blouses. In the year 1928 the "Gerber Baby" was first introduced on Gerber Brand baby products. That's about how old these buttons are as well.

-Sherbert McGee

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cookies: Super-carved!

Out of all the Bakelite cookie buttons I've seen, this style is by far the most carved. Not just carved, these buttons are perforated. Aside from their buttonholes, there are six apertures in each of these buttons. As a set of three, they look like a squadron of fighting airships from the DC Universe. Then again, their sculpted grooves remind me of the Cologne Cathedral. Not your everyday buttons. 

-Sherbert McGee

Monday, April 4, 2016

Cookies: Bright Old Wisecrackers

Continuing from last Friday with Bakelite cookie buttons, I selected these two for today's post since I wanted something sunny and quintessential to kick off the week. Both of these buttons shine with gladsome colors and an elevated hexagon design. As this month will demonstrate, Bakelite cookie buttons constitute a carnival of varicolored patterns. This old pair could've dotted a clown's uniform.

"I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician." Charlie Chaplin 

-Sherbert McGee

Friday, April 1, 2016

Cookies: The First Batch

For the entire month of April I'll be posting nothing but Bakelite cookie buttons, starting with today's colorful batch of six. Bakelite cookie buttons are highly collectible and not easy to find (since they go back to the early 1920's). I spot them sometimes in antique shops, almost always behind glass. They can be pretty expensive. At first I didn't think I was up to the task of collecting these, but once I invested in a few of them, I soon became pretty fanatical about the hunt for more cookies. Some cookie buttons are very rare and unusual, but all cookies are a style of Bakelite button that feature two colors, typically with creamed corn as the basis. Get set for gobs of cookies this month. I'm cleaning out my kitchen.

-Sherbert McGee