The Bakelite Jewelry Book

By Ginny R. Dawes

Photographer Stephen Mark Needham, Tom Dawes

Release Date
Format Hardcover 156 pages 10.25 x 9 inches 160 illustrations, 150 in full color
ISBN-13 978-0-89659-867-6 SKU 19131

During recent years, the Bakelite jewelry of the 1930s has become a trendy and popular fashion accessory and much-valued collectible. Emblematic of a unique culture that only could have blossomed between a depression and a world war, this cheeky costume jewelry is beautifully shown here in its amazing range, humor, high style, good-hearted silliness, streamlined chic, and daring inventiveness.

Bakelite, the first thermosetting plastic, formed the basis for a Depression-era fashion trend that began, spread like wildfire, and died away, all within a few short years—between 1933 and 1941. Two generations later, there is an astounding resurgence of interest in Bakelite jewelry. Among fashion trendsetters, there is growing infatuation with these playful and very wearable baubles. Among serious collectors, there is fierce competition for the rare, quality pieces that were made in limited numbers under such evocative brand names as Marblette, Gemstone, Prystal, Agtine, and Catalin. Bakelite seems to be everywhere, and prices are rising. The authors have assembled for this book—from many sources—the greatest array ever seen of Bakelite jewelry. They have also appended a very useful guide to prices.

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