Single-owner collection of Bakelite and Lucite jewelry is 100% sold at Bonhams in Los Angeles

20 May 2012, Period Art & Design including Jewelry

Single-owner collection of Bakelite and Lucite jewelry is 100% sold at Bonhams in Los Angeles

20 May 2012, Period Art & Design including Jewelry

Los Angeles - Bonhams is pleased to announce a stellar result for a single-owner collection of stylish and whimsical Bakelite and Lucite jewelry that was featured within its May 20 Period Art & Design auction. Works of note from the 100% sold collection, also known as 'white glove,' included more than 80 examples of highly sought after bracelets, necklaces, brooches and animal shaped pieces in the colors of apple juice, root beer and butterscotch, among others. The reverse paint technique as well as 'dot,' 'zigzag' and 'bowtie' motifs could also be seen throughout the collection.

Following on the successful auction of the Susan Kelner Freeman Collection of Bakelite Jewelry at Bonhams in 2009, which was also 100% sold, highlights from 2012 included a pair of Bakelite "bowtie" bangle bracelets (est. $1,000-1,500, sold for $2,500); a Bakelite "bowtie" bangle bracelet (est. $1,000-1,500, sold for $1,750); a group of six cream Bakelite "dot" bangle bracelets (est. $800-1,200, sold for $ 1,625); a group of four Bakelite "diamond" bangle bracelets (est. $600-800, sold for $1,375); a pair of brightly colored Bakelite stretch bracelets with diagonal rectangles (est. $600-900, sold for $1,125) and a group of five Bakelite "dot" bangle bracelets (est. $800-1,200, sold for $1,125), among others.

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

The May Period Art & Design auction also featured strong selection of jewelry from various owners. Items of note included a carved emerald bead and cultured pearl necklace (pre-auction estimate $600-800, sold $12,500); a collection of gem-set, stone, gold, metal and costume jewelry (pre-auction estimate $750-950, sold for $7,500); a 14k gold wide link necklace (pre-auction estimate $3,500-5,500, sold for $3,750); a collection of turquoise, gem-set, paste and sterling silver jewelry (pre-auction estimate $2,000-3,000, sold for $3,500) and a red and green crystal tomato minaudiere by Judith Leiber® (pre-auction estimate $700-900, sold for $1,375).

Offerings of fashionable accessories at Bonhams will continue on June 25 in Los Angeles with the inaugural US sale of 'What Women Want...At Auction." The sale will feature a strong offering of designer vintage and contemporary fashions, shoes, accessories, handbags and luxury goods.

Since launching in the U.K., 'What Women Want...At Auction' sales have become a unique part of the Bonhams experience. Known as a trusted resource for women who love to shop and who enjoy the best of everything, the auctions deliver luxury brands in chic style.

Highlights include a classic Hermes black crocodile 'Kelly' handbag (est. $10,000-20,000); a Judith Leiber® 'Queen of Hearts' book-form minaudiere (est. $1,300-1,500) and Katherine Baumann red 'Lips' minaudiere (est. $1,000-1,500); a pair of black Stuart Weitzman pumps decorated with a rhinestone figure of a girl holding the leash of a white dog (est. $300-400; a multi-color beaded Bob Mackie gown (est. $1,500-2,000) and a pink, gray and lavender chiffon strapless Ralph Lauren Collection gown (est. $500-700), among others.

Preview: June 22-24, Los Angeles

Auction: June 25, 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 appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

Related auctions