Building a Bakelite Collection

Since getting into vintage I have become a bit of a geek. Bakelite really peaked my interest, it's hard to imagine the pre-plastic world so I find the many uses of it fascinating!


I picked up this book in a local RSPCA charity shop in their book sale so it was reduced to £3.50 and it's such an informative read. I'd recommend reading up if your planning on starting a collection. Of course I've learnt so much from contacts on Facebook forums as well and most sellers are happy to answer general questions.




I started my Bakelite collection with these two bangles, one in yellow and the other a translucent bangle, commonly known as apple juice. These are both what is known as a spacer.

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Spacers are thin bangles that can be used between thicker bangles in a stack, personally I like how spacers look all together too and have mainly collected spacers so far, but I'd love to add some chunkier pieces to my collection.


These two are square, Bakelite bangles can come in different shapes so when buying online check that you are buying what you really want. They can be tubular, saucer (like the edge of a teacup hence the name) or square, you can also find more unusual shapes but tubular are my preference.


Also be sure to check size, you might see them described as maiden, or standard size. Before buying measure your wrist, or a bangle you already own and check with the seller. Standard size Bakelite is actually quite small for some, I have small wrists so can take advantage.


After perusing online I decided to buy sets from then on so I could create stacks (and I must admit I have a little thing about symmetry) so everything I've bought since then has been in two or more.


These bangles are a toffee colour and I have two of them. These were my first of this kind with the definitive swirls that many will be familiar with and I fell in love with them.



I bought these three wider "tigers eye" bangles from an eBay seller in France in a bundle with some earrings. I love how Bakelite bangles may match eachother but are never quite the same.



These two bangles (one spacer, one wider) are known as banana bread. It was a colour I was after for a while and I was so pleased to be offered these by private seller.



The four bangles below are known as corn and are a lovely bright, slightly mustard colour which coordinates with so much in my wardrobe.



I kept an eye out for earrings that would match all my various bangles. With the bundle I got from the French seller I got two pairs. 

One set are domed and one pair are flat disks, both are clips. Bakelite earrings can be pierced, clips or screwbacks. I don't own any screwbacks as I find them uncomfortable.



Flat



Domed

I love these yellow hoops which I have worn in lots of my Instagram photos. They are pierced and are such a good size for me. Bakelite hoops can come in various sizes so always check before buying



I managed to find these bigger toffee coloured clips to match my bangles, they are monsters compared to the size of my other clips!



I also bought these orange clips which look to be swirled with red but are actually translucent swirls which cut through the colour and give that effect. I nicknamed these blood orange but I'm not sure how others refer to them.



I have a lot of green in my wardrobe and so I couldn't pass up these dark green pierced earrings. I love the unusual shape because I don't have any others like this.



These hexagonal clip hoops were also a great find, they are a khaki colour which I adore, I'd love to find more of this colour in bangles but I've never come across any.



I also picked up these dark aqua hoops, again in a different shape, Bakelite is so versatile in terms of what shapes you can find.



I wear my Bakelite earrings almost every day.



Colour Families






From building a small collection (compared to certain friends of mine!) I am able to mix and match all of my bangles to coordinate with my vintage outfits.



My advice would be to start slow, window shop and learn a bit about Bakelite before you start buying, particularly online.There are other colours I am particularly drawn too such as the mouldy cheese type colour (yellow with hint of blue swirled through) but as with all things vintage you just never know when they will crop up! 

Until next time

Love

Lucy

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