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Sterling and Celluloid Flower Basket Brooch / Emmons Pendant Brooch /Circa 20th Century

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Costume Brooches1649 of 2410Humingbrid Brooch / Pin signed - unknown markTwo vintage Russian brooches
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (1145 items)

    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

    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.

    Emmons Jewelry
    courtesy of

    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.

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    1. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Lovely ! And nice pic too :-))
    2. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thank you Kyra :)....I think jewelry is the hardest thing to photograph but I get lucky every once and a while.
    3. SEAN68 SEAN68, 6 years ago
    4. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thank you Sean :)
    5. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 6 years ago
      Lovely brooches, Mike! :)
    6. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thanks so much Katherine :)
    7. AnneLanders AnneLanders, 6 years ago
      Lovely Mike, especially the coral coloured celluliod.....very envious....
    8. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thank you Anne :).....this one totally took me by surprise. I thought it was pretty but a bit worn and not all that valuable. My first piece of celluloid too !
    9. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Score for sure!
      Both are great even without the value!!
    10. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thanks Karen :)..... I spy with my little
    11. nutsabotas6 nutsabotas6, 6 years ago
      Of course you know I like the Emmons brooch. Did they name their jewelry? Good find!!
    12. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thanks Ken :).....I'm sure they probably did but this one is just called an Aztec design when I see it listed. I personally think it looks more medieval European than Aztec.
    13. Rick55 Rick55, 6 years ago
      Lovely, both of them, but oh that basket!!!
    14. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thanks Rick :) is a little gem.

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