The star of this angelic necklace is a Victorian-era button depicting a stamped and painted brass star on a mottled green and brown celluloid background, set in an ornate brass border. Above this gorgeous button, you’ll discover a lovely vintage resin cameo.
John Wesley Hyatt of New Jersey patented the first semi-synthetic plastic in 1869 while attempting to invent a replacement material for ivory billiard balls. His invention, called celluloid, proved unsuitable for pool tables. However, its innately moldable properties made it a popular choice for various other everyday items, including toys, knitting needles, cutlery handles, collar cuffs, jewelry, and, of course, buttons.
Celluloid was produced in paper-thin sheets, sometimes pigmented to imitate rare natural materials such as tortoiseshell, marble, agate, glass, jade, coral, ivory, jet, and pearl. Victorian-era button manufacturers commonly sandwiched the thin celluloid sheets between ornate pierced-brass tops and rimmed brass bottoms with stunning outcomes.
Read more: Celluloid, When Plastic was Fantastic, Buttonology Blog.
In this piece:
- Victorian-era button with brass over and under lay, with thin celluloid sheet in between, circa 1880-1900
- Vintage resin cameo
- Brass settings stamped today in the USA in vintage dies
- Hand-wrapped rhyolite and Czech stain glass beads
- Antiqued brass chain
- Length is 28” with a 5” extender
Shop Collection: Limited Edition