Bakelite Jewelry: The Intersection of Design, Intricacy & Fashion with Matt Burkholz, Antique Dealer & Owner of Route 66 West Palm Springs

Episode 46

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • What Bakelite is, how it got its name and how the production process evolved in the early 20th century.
  • The different methods of identifying Bakelite.
  • How Bakelite is assigned value and the characteristics that define its quality.
  • Matt’s perspective on selling Bakelite jewelry.
  • An overview of the annual Modernism Week in Palm Springs.

Matt Burkholz is an antique dealer with a focus on fine 1920s and 1930s Celluloid and Bakelite jewelry, and the owner of Route 66 West in Palm Springs, a fine, vintage, retro and couture costume jewelry store. Route 66 West is the culmination of a decades-long journey as a historian and purveyor of fine vintage jewelry and decorative accessories.

Matt is an art historian by training and his approach to jewelry reflects his academic vision and combines it with 40 years of owning and operating galleries in New York City, Miami Beach, upstate New York and Palm Springs. He is the author of “The Bakelite Collection,” the foremost leading reference source on the subject. Additionally, Matt has written for numerous magazines and publications, and has appeared on Martha Stewart TV, Antiques Roadshow and other television programs as a highly respected subject matter expert.

Additional resources:

Episode Transcript

Sharon Berman