Bakelite and casein buttons
made in Australia c.1930s-1940s
Continuing the domestic arts / casein products theme, here is my collection of bakelite and casein buttons.
On the plate in the middle of the image are bakelite buttons that were salvaged from old clothes in the 30s [think Depression Era] and saved for re-use on new clothes. I bought these buttons from a very old lady who had done the salvaging, but never quite got round to the re-using. The buttons on the cards are casein with some on their original card [note that the brown buttons by Walkers are ‘boil-proof’!]
Vintage buttons are quite collectible- and remain quite functional too. This set is for sale: $AUD45
Picnic and measuring cups
made by Sellex and Helix, in Australia c. 1940-1950
These bakelite pieces have retained their wonderful colour, and work beautifully as a set. The set of 5 nested picnic cups in green and the large red measuring cup have an ‘inverted beehive’ shape, and both were made by Sellex. The red measuring cup measures 1 cup on its upper rim, then ½, 1/3, and ¼ cups on the graduated rings of the ‘beehive’.
The set of blue measuring cups are by Helix, and measure ½, 1/3 and ¼ cups. I thought perhaps the larger 1 cup was missing from the set, but apparently Helix only ever made a set of three measuring cups, in this style. It was the 40s and bakelite was costly to produce- it was considered an extravagance to make a 1 cup measure when you had a perfectly good ½ cup measure that could be used twice!
Regular readers know I am somewhat enamoured of bakelite. It all started when I was researching resin, with a view to making resin jewellery [which I did- more of this later.] I researched early forms of plastic and discovered the collectible words of xylonite and bakelite.
And so I have collected bakelite in its many domestic forms – from pudding bowls to door handles. And buttons. These buttons were made in the 20-30s; the collector before me was the granddaughter of a fastidious woman who always cut off and saved the buttons from old clothes before they were relegated to rags. The buttons sets were threaded onto string or cotton to keep them together, should they be needed for another garment. The monotone greys, browns and blacks also identify these buttons as coming from the depression era.
The buttons are sitting in bakelite scoops, on a lovely yellow bakelite plate. These are part of another collection set which will be posted in due course. The buttons are for sale: great for button collectors or vintage dress makers wanting to use authentic vintage notions.