Posted 6 years ago
I found two really nice brooches at Salvation today. I like the large 2 1/2 " Emmons pendant brooch for it's design and colors. It had been there a while so I grabbed it before it disappeared. The real treasure though is the sterling flower basket brooch. I didn't see a mark initially but behind the pin and very tiny it's marked sterling. It also has a gold wash but only about 40 % of it remains. Mostly on the basket and back. The flowers I found out are celluloid. Colored and carved to look like coral. I actually found a few of this exact pin online. This seems to be an expensive little pin. No matter if it's bent or completely devoid of it's gold finish. Ebay and costume jewelry sites want almost two hundred dollars for it !! Seems celluloid and bakelite pieces are quite pricey at the moment. No maker mentioned by anyone, but I'm thinking it's Japanese from the 30's or so. Score !! -Mike-
Celluloid and Jewelry
Courtesy of daysofelegence.com
One of the earliest plastics, celluloid is derived from cellulose, a natural plant fiber, and was first synthesized around 1868. A trademark of Hyatt Bros., Newark, NJ (1868). It is a composition mainly of soluble guncotton and camphor, resembling ivory in texture and color. Celluloid was also dyed to imitate coral, tortoise-shell, amber, malachite, etc. Originally called xylonite, celluloid is the word most often used to describe any imitation ivory, bone or tortoise. But there were many other imitators of such natural elements: "ivorine," "French Ivory," "tortine" and the like. Celluloid should not be confused with the harder and more resilient plastic known as Bakelite, Catalin, or Marblette. Celluloid, being highly flammable, lost favor to phenolic resins of the 1930's. Celluloid was first used as synthetic ivory in the manufacture of billiard balls Items commonly found today include hair combs, dresser articles. Celluloid items for wear were often set with pave rhinestones. Celluloid is flammable and deteriorates easily if exposed to moisture, so care should be taken in its use and storage.
courtesy of collectiblejewels.com
In 1949 Charles Stuart (founder of the Sarah Coventry Jewelry Company) founded the Emmons Jewelry Company to honor his wife Caroline Emmons Stuart. Like Sarah Coventry jewelry, the Emmons line was sold at home parties. The retail prices of the Emmons pieces were higher than Sarah Coventry pieces (Sarah Coventry was founded in honor of his daughter). Today Emmons pieces are rarer than Sarah Coventry pieces. The company was located in New York City, and did business until 1981, at which time it closed its doors for the last time. The EMMONS mark came into use in 1955.