Yellow bakelite

Yellow bakeliteYellow bakelite
made in Australia c.1920s

A lovely bakelite mixing bowl by Eon and a topless ‘Rice’ canister by Marquis. And a couple of a wattle sprigs.

A lovely yellowy, wattley goodness for sale; $AUD65

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Marquis speckled bakelite [sold]

Marquis bakeliteMarquis speckled bakelite
made in Australia c.1940s

Speckled bakelite is different to end-of-day bakelite. If you’ve been paying attention, end-of-day bakelite was formed from all the left over bits of bakelite, whereas speckled bakelite was made by a different technique- specifically to match the speckled bakelite pieces coming out of America.

Speckled bakelite was pre-mixed; two colours were chosen [mostly a colour and contrasting white] to simulate a speckled egg [no less] – and also – functionally- to disguise discolouration in the coloured bakelite. Bakelite made in the 30s was known to break down when continuously exposed to sunlight or hot temperatures/liquids. It was thought that the speckled bakelite would last longer – and could be sold as an alternative to solid colour bakelite.

This Marquis plate and scoop have a lovely red/white speckled colouring, and are for sale: $AUD45

Blue bakelite collection

Blue bakelite collectionBlue bakelite collection
made in Australia, c.1940-1950s

Bakelite could be produced in almost any colour, but was most widely produced in white, brown, green and red. It is a relatively stable product, but can be damaged by sunlight and over time oxidisation can cause colours to deteriorate. Blue bakelite can become a muddy green colour, and for this reason, blue bakelite that has retained its original hue is both rarer [and more expensive in vintage terms] and more collectible.

From the top left in the image, clockwise the blue bakelite items are:

a Marquis lidded butter dish
an Eon screw-top canister
nested Helix measuring cups [1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup]
‘atomic’ salt and pepper shakers, made by ‘D’.

There is very little space on the base of the S and P shakers for the manufacturer’s cast name, so all we know of the maker is the initial ‘D’. At lot of S & P shakers made in the 50s had this ‘atomic’ shape. The swirling blue colours in the bakelite is typical of the period; because bakelite is cast [rather than moulded] it allowed a variety of colours to be mixed together.

Start your bakelite collection now! This set is for sale: $AUD115

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Bakelite salt and pepper shakers

Bakelite salt and pepper shakersBakelite salt and pepper shakers
made by Sellex and Marquis, in Australia, c.1940s

I have previously posted bakelite salt and pepper shakers – in a grouping of green bakelite picnic ware. I am very fond of these salt and pepper shakers, with their ingenious design – the top and bottom separate to reveal the two shakers; and you can see that the screw-on bases were often different coloured bakelite. This set of six shakers showcases bakelite colours in all its glory…the middle blue and white set colour is called ‘end of day’ – this refers to a mixing of colours that were left – you guessed it- at the end of the working day.

The salt and pepper shakers were made for the picnic basket- the two shakers designed to fit into one piece presumably took up less room in the hamper. The ends screw off to allow the addition of either salt or pepper – which is designated by the number of holes in the pouring end.

For bakelite collectors, and salt and pepper shaker collectors- you know who you are!

For sale: $AUD145

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Green bakelite

Green bakelite pieces by Marquis and Duperite
made in Australia, c.1940-1950s

And so to the green bakelite. All the pieces in the image are made by Marquis, with the exception of the scoops which were made by Duperite. There were ten companies producing bakelite domestic ware in Australia in the post-war period, and I have examples of them all!

The ten companies [I know you want to know!] were: Nally [see picnic cups, in post below] Eon, Helix [see blue bakelite post below] Sellex, Iplex, Nylex [names ending with ‘ex’ particularly modern!] Tilly, Bristilite and Duperite [‘ite’ endings evoking bakelite.]

I particularly like the salt and pepper shakers – there are three sets in this collection, seen in the middle at the back of the image. The top and bottom of the shakers separate to reveal the two shakers; and you can see that the screw-on bases were often different coloured bakelite.

The green bakelite containers also have screw-on lids. They were originally used to contain spices or condiments, and have a somewhat ‘deco’-styling. These containers are particularly collectable – people like to collect them in every colour possible.      For sale: $AUD165

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Blue bakelite

Blue bakelite pieces
made in Australia, c.1940-1950s

Bakelite could be produced in almost any colour, but was most widely produced in white, brown, green and red. It is a relatively stable product, but can be damaged by sunlight and over time oxidisation can cause colours to deteriorate. Blue bakelite can become a muddy green colour, and for this reason, blue bakelite that has retained its original hue is both rarer [and more expensive in vintage terms] and more collectible.

From the top left in the image, clockwise the blue bakelite items are:

a Marquis lidded butter dish
an Eon screw-top canister
nested Helix measuring cups [1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup]
‘atomic’ salt and pepper shakers, made by ‘D’.

There is very little space on the base of the S and P shakers for the manufacturer’s cast name, so all we know of the maker is the initial ‘D’. At lot of S & P shakers made in the 50s had this ‘atomic’ shape. The swirling blue colours in the bakelite is typical of the period; because bakelite is cast [rather than moulded] it allowed a variety of colours to be mixed together.

Future posts will also feature [Australian] bakelite by colour. For sale: $AUD115

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