Vintage mid- to late 1920s “Acwalite” celluloid vanity dresser set in glowing amber is comprised of a mirror, brush and comb. It features Asian-inspired enamelling with lotus-like flowers in red, green, and blue, and (on the brush and mirror) a stylized gold face with flowing headdress that reflects the Art Deco era’s interest in “Orientalism”.
“Acwalite” was a brand of celluloid trademarked by the Celluloid Corporation (the precursor to Celanese); it appeared c. 1919 as an imitation ivory, and Amber Acwalite was added c. 1924. A 1925 ad shows a ten piece “decorated” Amber Acwalite dresser set costing $17.95 (approximately $250 in today’s currency).
The mirror measures 13 ¾” tall by 5 ½” wide, the brush 8 ¾” by 2 ¼”, and the comb 8 ¾” x 2”. All three pieces are stamped (rather faintly)“Amber Acwalite”.
This gorgeous set is in very good condition, with the celluloid lustrous, the enamel brightly colored and unchipped, and no cloudiness to the mirror. Issues are: Some superficial scratching, wear to the blue enamel outlining the pieces (though not at all to the painted decoration), and slight discoloration to the bristles of the brush, after gentle washing.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
Antique through Vintage Fashion & Jewelry