Art Deco Hair comb Hand Painted Peacock Tail Design
SIZE: 5½ ins h x 3¼ ins w (14 x 8.5 cms)
CONDITION: excellent no issues
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s to 1920s
MATERIAL: celluloid and rhinestones
This very beautiful hair comb has been made to represent the motif of an unfurled peacock's tail. The Peacock was a favourite motif of the Art Nouveau jewellery that treated it in an often fantastical manner. Here we see the elements of the design have become stiffer and more formalized under the influence of Deco
The base material is semi-translucent celluloid with the angular blades which form the heading fanning out to form a roughly triangular profile. These panels have been hand painted in contrasting shades of light and darker metallic green, shading into a yellow gold at the top. The "eye" of the peacock tail feather is represented by a pale green rhinestone, and a lines of pique gilt metal dots leading downwards towards the base of the heading where it joins the tines.
The final picture is taken from a contemporary coloured postcard of the early 20th century and shows how such combs were placed in the shorter hair which had now become fashionable.
The peacock, one of the favourite themes in Art Nouveau jewellery design, is a symbol of beauty and dignity. It also represents immortality in religious symbolism. This is said to be from the annual renewing of its feathers; or from the fact that its starry tail rendered the peacock sacred to Juno, the immortal queen of the heavens. There is also a curious belief that the flesh of the peacock will not putrefy even though kept for a considerable time. As an outgrowth of this belief the peacock became the emblem of immortality, because the spiritual nature of man, like the flesh of this bird, is incorruptible.
Item ID: C12-09-007
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Gender: Female, Age Group: Adult, Color: green/gold, Size: 5½ ins h x 3¼
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