A little while back, I did a post on “What is bakelite?” – explaining what it is and how to tell if your piece is actually bakelite or just celluloid, lucite or “fakelite”. Since that post, I have acquired a few more pieces myself AND learned alot about bakelite – the hard way.
I recently bought a piece from an antique dealer in the town I live in. She has a fairly new booth in one of the larger stores and happened to be there on the day I was there. She has LOTS of vintage jewelry and alot of bakelite. Most of it she has marked as tested authentic. So, when I saw a red bamboo bracelet, I had to have it. Except that I forgot some of my rules and didn’t do the smell test – mostly because she was standing right there watching me the whole time. She even asked me if I knew about bakelite with a smile, NOW I know its probably because she knew what she was selling me wasn’t real. When I got home and tested it, it turned out to be fake – I now think its just lucite :/
So – when you are out and find something you want – DO NOT let a dealer keep you from inspecting it or especially rubbing it to see if you can get any of that chemical smell when its warmed up. That is the ONLY way in the store that you can really TRY to see if its real unless you 110% trust the dealer.
Here are my pieces –
Mini pool ball key chain -authentic bakelite
Red pin I converted into a necklace – authentic bakelite
Mini pool ball bracelet – authentic bakelite
Butterscotch bangles – authentic bakelite
Black pin (I will probably also convert into a necklace) -authentic bakelite
And last but not least – the fake bracelet – 🙁 I still love it, I just wish I hadn’t paid bakelite prices for it. It does have scratches on it (suggesting age), but I definitely over trusted the antique dealer.