1930s Multicoloured Novelty Bakelite Necklace

Impressive 1930s Bakelite necklace made up of multicoloured beads in various shades of dark green, mustard, orange, tan, red, brown and black - colours which were given food-related names such as Creamed Corn, Butterscotch, Egg Yolk, and Salmon. Each bead is reminiscent of a chess piece, with rounded lines that very much echo the art deco styles of the era.

Originally used for industrial purposes thanks to its ability to withstand heat, moulded Bakelite and its cast cousin, Catalin, made the jump to costume jewellery in the 1920s and had their heyday in the 1930s and 1940s with this necklace being one of the more decadent examples. When worn, the piece makes an impressive statement thanks to its substantial size and colourful appearance. Its generous length makes it possible to slip easily on and off overhead or it can be worn looped over. Truly a rare find which belongs in a serious collection.

Condition wise, this is verging on extraordinary given the complexity of the carving and the shear number of individuals beads. We count very close to 250 hand carved beads in total - no seaming. Two beads appear to have been lost completely; one has lost it 'head' and another has a piece chipped away but these are not noticeable when worn. The necklace is such a lengthy piece that these could be removed altogether and barely one inch would be lost. All colours have minimal oxidation, no pitting, and the piece has minimal everyday wear such as scratches and marks. This has been in Circa's collection for many years and as an owner and wearer of the finest costume jewellery, I have never seen anything else as spectacular. As a collector this has to rank amongst the finest surviving specimens of 7 colour Bakelite examples. I've tested this with Simi Chrome and it is certainly a substantial and weighty piece at 165 grams in keeping with Bakelite material.

LENGTH: 46 in. ( 116.84 cm )
WIDTH: 0.6 in. ( 1.52 cm )

Pickup available at CIRCA VINTAGE

Usually ready in 24 hours


Will you set anything aside for me before I come?

We are happy to find anything you may be interested in from our website - please let us know a week in advance. 

We also have an extensive offline collection. If you let us know your size, style, favourite colour to wear and perhaps your budget, we can browse through our archive in advance of your appointment. 

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Clients may wish to bring modern shapewear when trying on garments from certain eras, especially the 1950s. Vintage clothing was often worn with undergarments that shaped the waist and as such is tailored for them.

We have a huge variety of slip dresses and petticoats to complete your look; many of which are also for sale.

You may also wish to bring your favourite footwear. We often find a classic pair of nude shoes work well when trying on, or a pair in gold or silver.

Do you have a price range?

Many of our lower-priced pieces (under £150) are not available to buy online. Our prices range from £80 - £600 for separates. Dresses start at around £150 and go up to £2,500 for the very best antique pieces and designer vintage. Our bridalwear ranges from £300 - £3,000.

Can I bring anyone with me?

Yes but please do let us know the size of your party in advance.

Where can I get alterations?

We offer some alterations in house. Should you need alterations we cannot provide, we can refer you to one of our tried and trusted tailors.

Do you have an after-care service?

We will advise you on the best way to clean and preserve your vintage pieces and can also recommend trusted local dry cleaners.

Can I cancel my appointment?

You are free to cancel but please do give us as much notice as possible. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment, you will be invoiced a late cancellation fee of £25.

Where's the showroom?

Our address is Circa Vintage, 87A Lansdowne Way London SW8 2PB

Upon arrival, buzz the 87A button on the gate or call us 020 7736 5038 to let you in.

Do you have parking?

We offer free, secure, off-street parking but it is a tight squeeze – so do let us know in advance if you will be needing this and we can make sure that there is space available.

How do I get there by public transport?


Stockwell (7 min walk) - Northern and Victoria Lines

Nine Elms (9 min walk) – Northern Line


Wandsworth Road (13 min walk) – Westbound to Clapham Junction / Eastbound to Dalston Junction

What payment methods do you accept?

Cash, credit/debit card, bank transfer, contactless, Paypal