Vintage Art Deco tortoise shell galalith plastic geometric pin brooch

Vintage Art Deco tortoise shell galalith plastic geometric pin brooch
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SKU: 2211-48
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Vintage Antique Art Deco German Bohemian tortoiseshell galalith plastic carved and polished geometric pin brooch. In excellent original condition. This is a collectible or museum piece or can be worn for every day use.

Size: 51 x 14mm; 2" x 9/16" approx
Material: Plastic.
Year: Vintage 1930's
Condition: Authentic vintage condition. 
Quantity: 1

Casein plastics were introduced at the beginning of the 20th century, their starting material being the protein in cows milk, precipitated by the action of the enzyme rennin. The material readily takes a surface dye, so coloured items can be quickly made from pale coloured stock items. 

Casein plastic could not be moulded like Bakelite but had to be cut or carved from rods or sheets.  It was beautifully glossy and could be polished to a long-lasting silky lustre, but due to its tendency to warp or splinter could only be used for small pieces. Art Deco designers who used Galalith included Jakob Bengel and Auguste Bonaz.

On July 15th 1899, a patent for "plastic compositions" was taken out in Germany. The patent was taken up by firms in Germany (Vereinigten Gummivarenfabriken, at its factory in Harburg) and in France by Pellerin and Orosdi (Compagnie Francaise de la Galalithe, at Levallois Perret). The product was introduced under the trade name Galalith and was first shown at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1900. A lot of development work was still required to produce a stable material, and the two companies merged in 1904 to form the International Galalith Gesellschaft Hoff and Company with a new factory in Harburg.

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