Thursday, August 2, 2007

Vintage Lucite Jewelry and It's Many Gaudy Incarnations

*I don't know why the pictures won't show up. If anyone has an idea, I'd love to hear it!*

Oh, such technical difficulties this morning. I almost put a kabash on the whole so I could look up all the historical fiction recommendations from the lovely Wendy who, by the way, has some amazing jewelry over at Gigi Caron, most of it inspired by torrid English history.
Anyhow, now that Mozilla solved my linking issues, I'm trying to decide what to post! Wendy alerted me to some amazing medallion related bits but I was already heady with ideas about Lucite for today. I think I'll post the pewter medieval badges tomorrow under Favorites For Friday because I love them quite dearly!

About two years ago, I stumbled into Lucite, most likely on ebay (also known as Land of Lost Hours). I began a small collection of vintage pieces, ranging from embedded to confetti (I'll explain in a sec), but ultimately realized that I never wear them. That doesn't stop me from picking up the odd piece now and again, but it has significantly expanded my budget! (Alas, to waste instead on vintage dresses that will never fit me properly. But that is not a topic for this blog...)

If you are thinking, hey! Is that a pendant necklace of three Tic Tacs embedded in Lucite? then, well, wow. You are good. If I hadn't seen the listing, it might've taken hours and whatever drugs they were on in the 60's (when this was made) to figure it out.

Lucite was introduced in the 40's as acceptable accessory oriented material to replace metals, which all needed to go to the war effort. It's most popular inceptions were probably the moonglow pieces, called such because they had an unearthly, pearlescent glow:

This brooch is nice enough, but I chose it because it really exemplifies the moonglow look. The necklaces were a bit more adventureous (perhaps a touch gaudy?):

Speaking of gaudy, my heart went out to the embedded lucite pieces. Most of these were found on ebay and at some point or another I wanted to give them all a home. I didn't (not because I didn't try though, some people just have more money to expend on this stuff), but here are some of my favorites:

Amazingly from TWO DIFFERENT SELLERs on ebay!

Watch pieces. Another 60's artifact,

I've seen flowers, shells, bugs, sea creatures, small scenes, cameos, lanterns... It's truly amazing what people will make jewelry out of. The Eiffel Tower and confetti!

Oh, confetti is another style on it's own, and pretty self-explanatory. Lucite embedded with different kinds of confetti.

A fairly tame cuff and it's detail.

You may have seen the modern version of these Lucite pieces at Alexis Bittar or even Forever21 (my jaw just about dropped when I saw confetti Lucite there!) but the modern things really don't have a chance against the vintage. Well, maybe they do... I'll post some recent Lucite jewelry later and we'll compare.


WendyB said...

Wow...these are some amazing examples. I'm very intrigued by the shovel/pickaxe ones and the watch parts. If you find any more great vintage example, I'd love to see them! (And thanks for the nice shout out. I also recommend Gunnar's Daughter by Sigrid Undset too. I'm just getting into the whole Icelandic sagas thing. Fascinating!)

In Yr Fshn said...

I'm glad you like them! I can't tell you how badly I wanted the pickaxe necklace, something I had originally seen from another seller (it was smaller). I think they are old tourist gifts from Nevada gold mines.
I am currently placing all your recommendations on hold at my library (oh the joys of technology!), so thank you!!

WendyB said...

Ohhhhh, I LOVE the gold mine history! I'm going to have to look into that, see what kind of inspiration can be found from that time period. But now I like the shovel pieces even better. You should go for it! Re books, I just applied for a library card for the first time in years because all of my biographies and historical fictions have taken over my home ( addict). And I can't stand to part with any of the old ones because I like to refer back to them. But there is no room for any more :-(

In Yr Fshn said...

A lot of the best Lucite (I've found) was created for something like that. Seashells by the ocean. Even hermit crabs! That was very weird. And seahorses. Why somebody would want to wear a dead little sea creature on the neck is beyond me! It takes me an hour or two to find all my pictures, but I'll keep looking today and post the really good ones. (Sadly, the pieces I wanted were a while ago--somebody outbid me by A LOT. It was a set of the necklace and earrings, even better than what I posted. I still think about it wistfully...)
I have a library card for the same reason! Our apartment is FILLED with books and we really have no more room, so I've become a total library nerd. I think I mentioned this, but I've got such a long commute all the time that I always need new books to read. You've probably just set me up for at least two week and I am forever grateful.

WendyB said...

A long commute is a pain yet it can be a little nice to have time to read. I had some jobs where the best thing about them was the commute!

WendyB said...

I wonder why I can't see the lucite pix anymore? Is it just me? I was going to save the pix of the shovel/pickaxe ones for future inspiration!

In Yr Fshn said...

Wendy, I have no idea what happened! I thought it was just me also. I'll try and figure it out today... I'll also look for the pic to send to you...

In Yr Fshn said...


It's a start, but I'll keep looking...

WendyB said...

Fabulous...and did you check out those crazy antler carvings?

In Yr Fshn said...

Yeah, they are sort of amazing. When I was in Toronto, my friend and purchased this dead squirrel in a log thing, made from roadkill squirrel. Only the head and tail were intact, so they glued the head to one side of a log, the tail to the other and tried to make it look like this cute little squirrel was stuck in a log. For some reason the antlers remind me of that.