German Bookends with Celluloid Parts

07 Apr
Photo of German Mariner Bookends

Busy Mariners. 9”. Grey Metal, celluloid and marble. Marked “Germany” on base under felt.

These two pairs of bookends are from Germany, and are unusual because they sport celluloid parts.  The mariners are of painted spelter set on marble bases and have celluloid hands and faces.  The celebrating cabaret performers are painted spelter set on marble bases with celluloid arms, legs and chests, and hold celluloid cups in their celluloid hands.

Photo of German Cabaret Dancer Bookends

Party Girl. 6”, Gray metal, celluloid and marble. Marked “Made in Germany” between the marble base pieces.

In the U.S., bookends with celluloid parts were produced chiefly by the Hirsch foundry in the early nineteen thirties, many with bakelite bases.  Celluloid was used as an inexpensive substitute for ivory, but it was not considered a crude substance back then.  Celluloid and bakelite were among the first plastics, they were exotic and desirable materials, and are considered collectible today.

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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in Art Deco


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