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Galalith Necklaces by Auguste Bonaz

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Art Deco Costume Jewelry201 of 289Jakob Bengel Art Deco Necklace - 1930'sArt Deco Style Glass Necklace - Jakob Bengel?
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (103 items)

    Photos from left to right:

    - Auguste Bonaz cream and red galalith necklace, circa 1928 -- note the metal barrel clasp
    - Auguste Bonaz signature. Easy to fake as it is heat-stamped into the galalith.
    - Auguste Bonaz galalith necklace in white and black. Circa 1928.
    - Galalith necklace in red and black attributed to Auguste Bonaz. It is an exact match to one on page 137 of Jewels of Fantasy, by Deanna Farnetti Cera, except for its clasp. Ginger Moro and I examined this piece and believe it is probably a fake.
    In the early 1900s, celluloid and galalith plastics became popular as replacements for natural horn plastic. These new plastics which could convincingly emulate ivory, horn and tortoise moved the market from handmade to mass market. Galalith was a milk-based casein plastic and was more durable than celluloid, heat-malleable and produced in a wide range of colors.

    Auguste Bonaz took over the family hair ornament business from his father, switching from natural horn to celluloid in 1910 for pendants and beautiful, lacey openwork headdresses and mantilla combs, some as high as 30 centimeters. After Auguste Bonaz's death in 1922, his wife and sons continued to run the firm and switched to buckles and small pins for cloche hats as hairstyles changed. In the late 1920s, they produced bold Modernist necklaces of Galalith sections in contrasting colors.

    These necklaces were highly collectible starting in the 1990s, so much that an entire industry was built around selling fakes. I haven't paid any attention to the market for these in many years, but there are pieces for sale. Buyer beware!

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    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Just AMAZING JEWELS !!!!!
    2. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      These are simply amazing!!! I love them!!
    3. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 3 years ago
      Hello, wobderful necklaces! I have two bangles that I am puzzled about when it comes to what type of plastic it is. I saw your necklace in the left lower corner and wonder about the stripy sort of swirly woodlike light pieces, are they galalit? They look somewhat similar to the material in my bangles. Thanks for answer :)
      Great post of fantastic necklaces!!
    4. Bluboi Bluboi, 3 years ago
      All of the material in the necklace is galalith. The manufacturers were able to emulate some tones with this material. I believe there are ways of testing it but don't know what they are or whether they would be harmful to your bracelets.
    5. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 3 years ago
      I see, maybe best left alone. Thanks for your answer! I have posted my bangles. I think mine are french ivory (celluloid).

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