Celluloids are a class of compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, with added dyes and other agents. Generally considered the first thermoplastic, it was first created as Parkesine in 1856 and as Xylonite in 1869, before being registered as Celluloid in 1870. Celluloid is easily moulded and shaped, and it was first widely used as an ivory replacement. The main use was in movie and photography film industries, which used only celluloid films prior to acetate films that were introduced in the 1950s. Celluloid is highly flammable, difficult and expensive to produce and no longer widely used, although its most common uses today are in table tennis balls, musical instruments and guitar picks. Celluloid was useful for creating cheaper jewellery, jewellery boxes, hair accessories and many items that would earlier have been manufactured from ivory, horn or other expensive animal products. It was often referred to as "Ivorine" or "French Ivory". It was also used for dressing table sets, dolls, picture frames, charms, hat pins, buttons, buckles, stringed instrument parts, accordions, fountain pens, cutlery handles and kitchen items. The main disadvantage the material had was that it was flammable.. It was soon overtaken by Bakelite.
A miniature, oval, Ivorine hand mirror with floral engraving on back. An accoutrement for use in a lady's Evening bag c19thC
Inscriptions & markings
Floral design engraving on back of mirror