Desdemonda Necklace - Celluloid Limited EditionRegular price $185.00
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 very popular choice for various other everyday items, including toys, knitting needles, cutlery handles, collars and 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 button manufacturers sandwiched thin sheets of celluloid between ornate pierced-brass tops and rimmed brass bottoms to create stunning dessigns. Many of these buttons had cutouts containing brilliant pieces of crystal, silvered glass, or cut steel, adding extra sparkle to these ornate and richly colored buttons.
Two such buttons are featured in this stunning one-of-a-kind necklace. The medium sized button in this piece has an imitation tortoiseshell background, a pierced brass overlay representing a shooting star, and a silvered jet glass inset. The larger bottom button showcases a silvered glass center, a mottled golden brown celluloid background, and an ornate brass border.
In this piece:
- Small bright cut pewter button, circa 1880-1900
- Medium button with layers of stamped brass, thin celluloid, and luster glass, circa 1880-1900
- Large button with layers of stamped brass, thin celluloid, and luster glass, circa 1880-1900
- Two brass stamping settings made today in the USA in vintage dies
- Brass-plated pewter setting cast today in the USA
- Antiqued brass chain
- Length is 32”
Shop Collection: Limited Edition