We finally made it down to the Bakelite Exhibit at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. From utilitarian objects such as phones and pencil sharpeners to jewelry, bakelite was all the rage in the 1930s and 1940s. The show was interesting in it’s technical content. The clock to teach time and the toy car made in Czechoslovakia were cool.
Bakelite can be so stylish. I wish they asked my brother for his napkin ring collection. Always a highlight at the Thanksgiving table along side his midcentury china. Some of the pieces look like these:
I am definitely a casual collector of bakelite. With the exception of the ridiculous number of enormous bakelite beads that my sister and I purchased years ago out of an elderly lady’s garage, my collection is tiny. I used 4 of the beads in the past 12 years they have been in my attic. They were sewn on the tips of a window valance in my son’s little nursery. One day I am sure I will find another use for them. They are just so nice.
What about all that fantastic, fun bakelite jewelry that could have been displayed at the show.
My most recent purchase is a bellhop pin I found at a flea market last fall.
One of the nicest pieces in my tiny collection is a feeding set. I waiver between selling it in the shop or donating it to the Museum of Modern Art for it’s tremendous design. This baby spoon and fork is silver plated with bakelite handles. It is made in the US by Napier. I believe Napier is no longer in existence.They also made some very chic costume jewelry during the mid century.
Can’t wait until flea market season starts, for the hunt to begin again.