Esmeralda Brooch - Celluloid Limited Edition

Esmeralda Brooch - Celluloid Limited Edition

Regular price $75.00
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This one-of-a-kind brooch showcases a rare Aesthetic Movement brass and glass coat button set upon a 1920s celluloid ‘wafer’ button.

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.

In the 20th century, celluloid button production exploded into a myriad of styles, the most common of which was the celluloid ‘wafer’. Cut from a flat sheet sheet of celluloid, ‘wafers’ were often embossed with simple geometric designs and used to secure the fashionably baggy coats of the era.

Read more: Celluloid, When Plastic was Fantastic, Buttonology Blog.

In this piece:

  • Large Aesthetic Movement button with molded glass center and ornate brass border, circa 1890-1900
  • Celluloid ‘wafer’ button with mottled shades of brown and burgundy, circa 1920
  • Pin back with bail so that it can be worn as a pendant
  • Diameter  “1 ⅝”

 Shop Collection: Limited Edition 

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