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interesting necklace with bakelite pendants set with stones
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Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
03/24/2019, 17:20:58

Here is an interesting item.

Shell hishi beads with an array of lovely hand cut bakelite pendants set with green stones. The central pendant is carved shell of some sort set with green stone. There is something missing from the top portion of the central pendant.

The stones are stuck in there with some kind of glue. I tested the pendants with simichrome and I'm fairly certain that they're phenolic resin.

Does anyone recognized this sort of necklace?

IMG_9279_copy.jpg (170.8 KB)  IMG_9275_copy.jpg (193.7 KB)  


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"Thunder Bird" Jewelry
Re: interesting necklace with bakelite pendants set with stones -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/24/2019, 17:57:23

This family of American Indian jewelry is broadly called "thunderbird jewelry." It results from the recycling of a variety of materials, including plastics, but also stones (minerals). They date from the 1920s and later. These are avidly collected by a few people. I rather like them—though I don't own any. I have seen a few fairly good collections, including that of a local friend. (Our Bead Group had a presentation on these a bit more than a year ago.)

Here's a link to an essay about thunderbird jewelry:

https://www.dailypress.com/entertainment/galleriesandmuseums/dp-fea-thunderbird-jewelry-20150711-story.html



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Another Net Essay
Re: "Thunder Bird" Jewelry -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/24/2019, 18:04:49



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And Another
Re: "Thunder Bird" Jewelry -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/24/2019, 18:08:51



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Thank you SO MUCH!
Re: And Another -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
03/24/2019, 21:55:09

The beads are so cool. It is interesting to me that the strand includes natural materials along with the bakelite pendants - which are both crude and beautiful.
This strand is quite understated compared to the other examples illustrated. !
I appreciate the generosity of your response. Thank you!



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You are welcome Linda!
Re: Thank you SO MUCH! -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/25/2019, 00:23:17



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Car battery case material
Re: interesting necklace with bakelite pendants set with stones -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
03/25/2019, 10:54:39

My understanding is that the black material in vintage Santo Domingo Pueblo necklace components is a hard rubber that was salvaged from battery cases. I haven't heard that Bakelite was used in these necklaces but I'm not an expert on this genre.

Did your simichrome test show a warm amber color, or did you just remove some surface material - which I'd suspect would show a dark brown, indicative of degraded rubber?



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Re: Car battery case material
Re: Car battery case material -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
03/28/2019, 07:57:26

Hi Rosanna,
Here is a photo of the test made this morning. The pendants are quite dirty so initial passes were indeed a dark brown to yellow. I have now cleaned this one pendant a bunch of times over several days and am confident now that the tests are completely uniform that this is the correct simichrome reaction - or perhaps simichrome will endlessly pick up traces of degraded rubber.
I don't know!
My best,
Linda

IMG_9387.jpg (202.9 KB)  


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Maybe try one more thing
Re: Re: Car battery case material -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
03/28/2019, 08:47:50

Linda,
I'm not sure this is a positive test since the color change is not what I'd expect. But here's another thing to try. Using 10% ammonia (household ammonia), very slightly wet a q-tip and rub very gently on an area that has not been tested yet. If you wash the piece first, do not use harsh detergents like 409, just mild soap (such as Ivory) to remove dirt.

Here's picture of the sort of color change you will get with old Bakelite. Sometimes the color is not so intense but it should be an amber yellow. I have never seen a color change that was brown - that I normally attribute to just removing dirt. Since I don't know what could be on the surface of degraded vulcanized rubber, I don't know if there will be a chemical reaction with a strong base like ammonia. If I find out anything I'll let you know.

BTW, the reason there is a color change for old Bakelite with Simichrome is that Simichrome has a lot of ammonia in it. The problem with using Simichrome is that it's a polish so it has abrasive particles in it which will remove the surface layer if you rub even a little. So for example If I polished the bead in this picture with Simichrome, I could remove the surface layer and then get no positive results afterwards.

Figure10Falabella.jpg (25.4 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 08:51:40

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Re: Maybe try one more thing
Re: Maybe try one more thing -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
03/29/2019, 09:50:01

Hi Rosanna,
So.. when testing a plastic with ammonia - or simichrome - one wants to test a clean but oxidized layer?
I did as you suggested and (though my ammonia is 20 years old I assume it is still going to act like ammonia) the result was not that satisfying amber stain. Perhaps then the pendants are indeed rubber from battery cases.
I've attached a photo with the test - and with the cleaned up pendant which looks a lot nicer now.
Thank you for your attention to this.
L

IMG_9435_copy.jpg (158.8 KB)  


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What a cool thread! I had no idea these existed.
Re: interesting necklace with bakelite pendants set with stones -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
03/25/2019, 20:00:25



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