This necklace features a vintage, butterscotch-colored, deeply carved Bakelite dress clip [c. 1930] converted to a pendant. It suspends from a slinky handwoven chainmaille necklace made of jeweler's brass.
Bakelite was an early plastic, developed by Leo Baekeland in 1907. It was originally used for industrial purposes due to its ability to withstand heat. It appeared in costume jewelry beginning in the 1920's and increased in popularity through the 30's and 40's. Bakelite was often intricately carved and came in a wide range of beautiful colors. Today, authentic Bakelite jewelry is highly collectible.
Dress and fur clips debuted in the 1920's, when costume jewelry first gained popularity. It is said Coco Chanel introduced the idea of wearing less expensive costume jewelry as art, instead of wearing fine jewelry as a symbol of status and wealth. When first introduced, dress clips were worn in pairs, often worn opposite one another on the neckline or straps of a dress. Popularity wanted in the 1950's, when brooches became a more desirable personal ornament. Today, you'll occasionally see vintage clips attached to the dresses, sweaters, handbags and scarves of trend-setting celebrities.