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Vintage costume jewelry from galalith

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Vintage costume jewelry from galalith

Butler and Wilson Pierrot Art Deco brooch. Vintage costume jewelry from galalith

Vintage costume jewelry from galalith
The word “galalith” comes from the Greek words “gala” (milk) and “lithos” (stone). Invented in 1893 by French chemist Auguste Trillat, galalith, or so-called French Bakelite, had remarkable properties. In particular, it was non-combustible, unlike celluloid, inexpensive and easy to manufacture. Also, it did not generate static electricity, not allergenic, and at the same time was durable and decorative.
Therefore, it was perfect material for the manufacture of buttons, combs, handles, umbrella handles, and jewelry
Noteworthy, the first massive production began in 1914 in Gloucestershire, England. Some other countries also produced similar material. Among them – Germany, the USA, the USSR and Japan. However, this plastic became widespread only in Europe.
During the Second World War, milk, like other food products, became strategically important, and the production of galalith reduced. Besides, the triumphal procession of lucite began, which was cheaper to manufacture.
Galalith jewelry is now rare and has collectible value. Noteworthy, the name “French Bakelite” is only a figure of speech and galalith is not Bakelite.

Bird brooch. Galalith, chrome. Vintage

Bird brooch. Galalith, chrome

Traditionally, craftsmen used the highest grades of galalith to imitate ivory, amber and horn. One of the brightest designers who worked with Galalith was German designer Jacob Bengel. Created by him pieces are museum treasures, which jewelry lovers can still find at flea markets in Europe.

Vintage costume jewelry from galalith

Black galalith rhinestone brooch. 1920s

Black galalith rhinestone brooch. 1920s

Blue galalith Tribal mask vintage brooch

Blue color galalith Tribal mask vintage brooch

Coral galalith dragonfly brooch. 6 cm. 1930s

Coral galalith dragonfly brooch. 6 cm. 1930s

French vintage tulip brooch. Pink galalith, rhinestones. 1930s

Pink Tulip brooch with rhinestones. 1930s

Gatsby girl round shaped brooch. 6 cm. 1970s

Gatsby girl round shaped brooch. 6 cm. 1970s

Halloween witch vintage brooch

Halloween witch vintage brooch

Josephine Baker face brooch

Famous dancer Josephine Baker face brooch

Mickey Mouse vintage brooch

Mickey Mouse brooch

Pierrot abstract design vintage brooch

Pierrot surreal design brooch

Red galalith tribal mask brooch

Red Tribal mask brooch

Sonia Rykiel bow brooch. 7 cm. 1970s

Black bow brooch by Sonia Rykiel. 7 cm. 1970s