Monday, 16 April 2012

I ♥ Carved Bakelite!

I have been lusting after some carved Bakelite ever since I first started collecting it....but, it is expensive! I have quite a few plain and spacer bangles now and decided that it was time to treat myself to a few of the carved beauties....after all - they are an investment, right?!
TA DA! ♥♥♥ Its red, its heavily carved and its my new favourite bangle (it has just ever slightly overtaken my polka one - but only just!).
 I bought this from a private collector. It was quite pricey (for me) at £40 (about $62) - BUT these sort go for $100s on antique sites and  Etsy, as you can see here. 1st thing I did - test it! (My preferred method is hold under hot water tap. If you get that 'medicine cabinet smell' - you know you have a winner!). 
Very happy with this one....just want more now! :)
I also picked up this mango coloured double carved line bangle, a steal at $24 (£15). After reading Solanah's - from Vixen Vintage blog - Bakelite polishing tutorial HERE, I was tempted to give it a sand and polish as it looks as though it was originally pink! squee! BUT I think as its carved, I will leave well alone and enjoy it as it is. I also like the fact that it has aged over the years, as we all do!
And this is how I store them - on my 50s vanity, in my glitter lucite box purse!
Last week I also picked up this great Bakelite collectors book from Amazon marketplace.... 
I was lucky enough to get this used copy for just 40 pence (about 65c), plus shipping!!
Drool drool drool - one of each please!
And loving all these nautical pins - would like any one of these, especially the Marlin!
Oh, and this acorn bracelet would be nice too!
On my internet travels, I also discovered this amazing shop in San Francisco; Gaslight & Shadows Antiques that I must visit someday! It looks amazing. I would be like a kid in a (very expensive) sweet shop!
A blogger who has inspired me to collect is the lovely Holly from Temperamental Broad. Check out her amazing bangle collection HERE. Seriously enviable - read it and weep!
If you want to know more about collecting it, the different types, and how to test it - Holly did a great article on her blog last year with all the info HERE.
I'm on the hunt for more now, (at resonable prices!) so, watch this space.......... :))


  1. So many gorgeous bakelite jewelry! I wish I could afford it too. I always keep my eye out for that kind of thing at garage sales or estate sales.

  2. I would be very, very hesitant to try the polishing/sanding thing if I were you. That was a pretty controversial post, and I was almost flabbergasted to read it. IMHO, it's like someone suggesting that you refinish your Heywood-Wakefield from its original color to a darker walnut shade. Bakelite is supposed to oxidize, and many also look to this oxidation to tell if a piece is genuine or not. I love the contrast of a carved piece, with its original layers down below and the oxidized top. Ultimately, to each his own, but I just want to caution you as you acquire more pieces. I know you sell a lot as well, and the pieces won't have good resale value if you polish them.

  3. I love Bakelite. Who doesn't? I've only ever been given some bangles by my aunt. Never purchased any. The red carved one is to die for!

  4. Your collection is really growing. I love the colour of the red carved. Yum.
    I also really like the acorn and leaf bracelet.

  5. That red bangke is amazing and really, a great deal!! I just bought my first few carved bangles and they are some of my favs!

  6. I have sold off a lot of my Bakelite over the years sadly so I don't have a lot of detailed pieces but you're right omg they're expensive.I drool through some of my Bakelite books sometimes wishing I could find some of the crazy stuff in there.

  7. Red carved bangle for 40 GBP = BARGAIN!! You would never find something like that on ebay or in Australian vintage shops. Congrats!

  8. Now that is some serious arm candy! I love this red carved number and I have never heard of the testing method, I'm tempted to hop out of bed right now and test a few I have. What a beautiful collection you have and I dig that storage case.

  9. I still think about the one that got away... vintage, carved bakelite, French, murky pink... why was I so stingey, why didn't I just outbid everyone else? *sobs*

  10. I love that red bangle, definitely a good investment! I would LOVE that marlin brooch too.....

  11. That red carved bangle is GORGEOUS and what a bargain!! I also love how you store your goodies in the Lucite bag...that's a great idea. I store mine currently on fuzzy paint rollers, but the cat keeps knocking them over! Grrrr!
    I completely agree with Erin, about the idea of polishing away the oxidized finish...I think most Bakelite experts & serious collectors would be pretty appalled at the very idea as it could seriously devalue the piece. I give my Bakelite pieces a very light Simichrome buff just to bring up the shine, and that's it.
    Thanks for sharing your new scores with us!

  12. Love that red carved piece!!! Talk about gorgeous! I am starting to collect carved bangles! I just wish they weren't so pricey though! I spotted an amazing, carved oxblood bangle that had cut-outs and rhinestones in antique mall in Florida back in January but they wanted 225.00 USD for it!

    However, I did find a lovely carved black bangle in a vintage store for 48.00 USD before Viva. It is perfect!

    I love that bakelite jewelry book! I am drooling over those photos!

  13. What a gorgeous new bebe!
    That is a great bargain Clare.
    I have been lusting over carved bakelite for years.always get outbidded.
    Oh i wouldnt mess with your second lovely bangle, looks good to me.

  14. Yum. :)

    I might wear my tortoise shell bangle on Saturday. ;)

  15. Gorgeous little collection you have - I love them stored in the box bag, perfect. I'd love to own some but have never found any at a price I'm comfortable with.