Saturday, December 4, 2010

The 25 Days of Black Friday Thrifting, Day 22; West German Plastic Bead Necklace

In case you haven't noticed yet, Operation Sparkle is pretty all over the map as far as the general age, era, and style of the fashion objects that we gravitate towards (see: entire blog). That is because we are most definitely about thrifted style, rather than vintage style. We pull from wherever, whenever, whatever floats our boats. Nothing is off limits. Even your cast off Forever 21 crap, if the price is right.

That does not mean, however, that we don't get VERY excited when we stumble across a legitimately vintage piece that hasn't yet been snatched up, marked up, and resold by one of the million vintage hawks out there. Or even worse, marked up by the thrift store itself, which has finally caught on to it's place in the vintage fashion resale food chain.

Which brings me to my #11 top Black Friday find, this fantastic West German plastic bead necklace, $2.15.

When I first picked this thing up, it puzzled me to no end. It's clearly real deal vintage, probably late 50's early 60's, fantastically designed, but the beads are not very high quality when you really inspect them. But for $2.15, it was still more than worth it. When I got it home and looked at it a little more closely, I noticed that the clasp was engraved "W Germany". There is also nothing quite better than having a little provenance built in to the mystery object that you find.

A little bit of internet research later, I find that West German plastic costume jewelry is in fact a "thing". Post WWII, West Germany was looking for industry that utilized cheap, available materials to get their economy working again, hence an industry of plastic costume jewelry. It is even somewhat collectible! That is a lot of entertainment and education for $2.15!

From a purely style point of view; this thing looks like it's made of ice. Which is awesome. AND it fulfills item #8 from my Black Friday Wishlist! A "cool chunky necklace"!!!!


  1. I think this is my favorite so far, for purely historical reasons. Can it get any better? I love this advent calendar!