Bakelite is a resin material that was produced in the early 1900's and was the first plastic substance made of synthetic components. Initially used for its electrically non conductive and heat resistant properties in radio and telephone castings, the material was also used in other products such as kids' toys, kitchenware and jewelry. Typically made of bold, beautiful colors, Bakelite has become very collectible over recent years and is appreciated amongst many.
An absolutely stunning and rare Bakelite necklace from the Retro (ca1940s) era! This visually striking piece is comprised of an ensemble of colorful "matchstick" clustered pendants that hang along the center of its original black link chain. The 7 clusters of realistic looking matchsticks hang vertically in groups of 3 from a brass bail, each one displaying an ivory colored "stick" that ends with a colorful match "head." The heads are incredibly colorful and include a painted tip in a contrasting color, to create a whimsical appeal. The colors include lime green with a cream tip, deep orange with a cherry red tip, olive green with a yellow tip, and hanging slightly longer from a short extension chain at the center are red heads with a royal blue tip. The matchsticks are symmetrically placed along the center of the chain, which is comprised of rich, black interlocking links that provide the perfect background to the colorful pendants. Thanks to its length, this fabulous necklace can slip on and off overhead and also fastens in the back at a large spring ring clasp. This unique necklace will delight everyone when worn, making it a fantastic addition to any Bakelite collection!
Measurements: The necklace measures approximately 27.5" long. Each matchstick (including the bail at the top) hangs about 2 1/2" long and measures a little more than 1/4" thick at the tip, except for the cluster of matchsticks at the center, which hang approximately 3" long, including their extension chain.
Condition: The overall condition of the necklace is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no serious damage to the brass setting or Bakelite links. Some paint at the ends of the matchsticks is worn or chipped, however, due to the intricate and colorful nature of the piece, it is hardly noticeable when worn. A small handful of the chain links display a few tiny chips, but due to their size and color, they are not noticeable when worn. The spring ring clasp is secure and in good working condition.