This dramatic red Bakelite and clear Lucite ethnic face pin is from a series of whimsical and unique figural pins made by Elzac in the early 1940s.
Who was 'Elzac'?...are you ready for this interesting bit of trivia? The creators of Elzac were Ruth and Elliot Handler (along with Zac Zembly) who sold their share in Elzac in 1944 and went on to start Mattel the following year. Yes, Mattel...maker of Barbie and other toys. After making these pins in their garage where they started the Elzac company, they went on to even greater success (that's putting it mildly).
This Elzac pin is known as 'Bonnet Head'. The red carved Bakelite face mask sits against a large clear ruffle-edged Lucite bonnet. The pin measures 2 3/4 inches across by 3 inches high. The back has a secure rollover clasp.
Elzac pins were not marked other than with a hangtag or paper label which quickly got lost. Elzac couldn't use materials that were needed for wartime so they got creative and used ceramics, wood, fabrics, fur, leather, rhinestones, and Lucite. Some of their pins are so notable for their adornment, they're called 'Victims of Fashion' pins.
All Elzac pins are very collectible. This one, with its use of carved red Bakelite, is high on the list.
Excellent vintage condition. Circa early 1940s.
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1940s ELZAC Carved Red Bakelite Lucite Bonnet Head Ethnic Woman Pin Brooch