Celluloid was actually the first plastic, discovered in1870 when a chemist combined camphor and cellulose in hopes of finding a material to replace the ivory in billiard balls. Soon, thin sheets of celluloid were being rolled out and tinted with color to imitate materials such as coral, marble, tortoise shell, and jade. Here a marble-like sheet of celluloid is placed behind a delicate brass floral stamping and set in a brass rim. This is one of the few cards of Victorian brass and celluloid buttons we have ever found! Your necklace will feature one of these buttons, until we run out.
It’s also interesting to see that though these buttons were made in Germany, they are titled Haute Nouveaute’ (meaning roughly “newest and finest” in French). Almost all button cards from the late 19th century were marked either Haute Nouveaute’, Paris Mode, or simply Nouveaute’—then as now, naming something in French made it seem immeasurably more chic!
- 1/2 inch brass and celluloid button made in Germany, circa 1880-1900.
- Necklace is 16 inches, extending to 20 inches.