Esmeralda Brooch - Celluloid Limited EditionRegular price $75.00
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