We think this is a wonderful antique deer foot letter opener made in part of Bakelite. It would date to the very early 1900's. This tiny foot has been meticulously preserved and the bottom of the deer hoof has been adorned with small cleats. The foot holds what can only be a letter opener of some kind. The blade swivels slightly and has been pinned with either Bakelite or bone.
In Yonkers New York in 1907, a Belgian American chemist named Leo Baekeland created the first entirely synthetic plastic—and it would revolutionize the way many consumer goods were manufactured. It is a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin, formed from a condensation reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. Baekeland called his plastic “Bakelite.” Its properties made it suited for a much wider variety of purposes than its predecessors. For example, it was resistant to heat and would not conduct electricity, so it was a really good insulator.
Like many modern plastics, Bakelite was lightweight and durable, and it could be molded into nearly infinite shapes, so its use quickly expanded as manufacturers realized its potential.
A wonderful piece for the collector of eclectic treasures.
A great find.
Size: Length 8.5" x Width 1" x Depth 1.75"
Weight: 2 ounces
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