Private single-owner collection of Bakelite and Lucite jewellery to adorn Period Art & Design auction at Bonhams in Los Angeles

Period Art & Design including Jewellery
20 - 21 May 2012
Los Angeles

Los Angeles - Bonhams is pleased to announce its May 20 Period Art & Design sale featuring a private single-owner collection of stylish and whimsical Bakelite and Lucite jewellery. Following on the successful auction of the Susan Kelner Freeman Collection of Bakelite Jewellery at Bonhams in 2009, the present offering boasts more than 80 examples, primarily Bakelite, in the shapes of dogs, ducks, fish, birds, elephants, flowers and gazelles. Items of note include highly sought after bracelets, necklaces and brooches in the colours of apple juice, root beer and butterscotch, among others. The reverse paint technique as well as 'dot,' 'zigzag' and 'bowtie' motifs can also be seen throughout the collection.

Discovered in the early 1900s, Bakelite was the first completely synthetic plastic that could be produced in almost any colour and moulded to any shape – leading to a revolution in jewellery making. From the 1920s-1940s, Bakelite was an exceptionally popular way to stylishly accessorise any wardrobe, home or lifestyle.

Highlights from the private single-owner collection of stylish and whimsical Bakelite and Lucite jewellery include a Bakelite 'bowtie' bangle bracelet (est. $1,000-1,500); three Bakelite terrier dog brooches (est. $900-1,200); two translucent, carved Bakelite apple juice and black bangle bracelets (est. $500-700); three carved and painted Bakelite animal brooches: fox, and two horses (est. $600-900); a Bakelite 'dot' bangle bracelet by Shultz (est. $500-700); a Bakelite gazelle brooch (est. $500-700); two Bakelite elephant brooches: one with a googly eye, one with metal enhancement (est. $500-700); a deeply carved and pierced butterscotch foliate bangle bracelet (est. $500-700); three Lucite 'insect' bangle bracelets (est. $600-800); two brightly coloured Bakelite stretch bracelets with diagonal rectangles (est. $600-900) and a Bakelite, wood and metal "brick" link bracelet (est. $800-1,200), among others.

The May Period Art & Design sale will also feature strong selection of jewellery from various owners. Items of note include old European-cut diamond and silver-topped pendant-brooch (est. $1,200-1,800); a diamond and gold 'rose' brooch in the shape of a (est. $1,200-1,800), a pair of Art Deco diamond, emerald and white gold earrings (est. $800-1,200); a pair of opal and gold 'swan' brooches (est. $500-700) and a pair of diamond, ruby and gold 'jaguar' motif earrings (est. $400-600).

The illustrated auction catalogue will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at

Preview: May 18-19, Los Angeles

Auction: May 20, Los Angeles

Press Contact: Jannelle Grigsby,, (310) 567-7990


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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