Galalith is an early plastic - used mainly between the 1920-40s. It was invented - in the late 19th century by Spilleler and Krisch. It was not patented until 1906. It is a casein plastic made from sour milk combined with formaldehyde. It was also known as Erinoid, Karolith and Aladdinite. It could be moulded by heating and also cut. The Charles Horner Company - in the UK - had their own range of items made from Casein - which they marketed as Dorcasine and continued to use this material until the late 1970's. Some wonderful jewellery was made from Galalith. Current jewellery makers like Marie Christine Pavone buy old pieces of galalith and rework it. I do try to stock some Pavone - I love her sense of humour! There is a very informative article on Galalith to be found here - The piece illustrated is a dress clip in a glorious green.

Copyright © 2010 Gillian Horsup

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