An example of a classic Spanish style fan shaped hair comb made in French jet
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 6½ ins h x 5½ ins w (16.5 x 14 cms)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900s to 1920s
French jet is a glittering form of black glass which has nothing to do with France, but was produced mainly in Bohemia, now part of modern Czechoslovakia, in the late 19th and early 20th century when it was extremely popular for jewellery making. It is usually associated with mourning jewellery of the Victorian and Edwardian period. However the material was also very fashionable for jewellery of the Art Deco period.
The comb illustrated here has the typical radiating spoke design of the Art Deco period which is executed in glossy black celluloid and set with rhinestones of faceted French jet. The design also incorporates geometric motifs such as triangles and diamond shapes which are iconic Art Deco motifs.
Combs like this were worn as shown in picture 9 which is taken from a contemporary fashion engraving from a magazine called The Queen dating from 1923. We can see that the sitter is wearing a similarly large Spanish style comb and has placed it in the hair at an angle so that the beautiful openwork heading can be seen to great advantage.
The influence of technology and machinery which is characteristic of the period can be seen in the design of combs whereby spokes or openwork lines radiate outwards from the base of the heading. This is a very typical motif in Art Deco combs, and in the art of the period. Some people interpret the spokes as representing the wheel, and thus symbolising the Futurist fascination with speed and machinery.
You can read more about hair accessories in my articles. They are available as a PDF document from my document archive by clicking the "Favorite Links" tab on my shop home page.
Item ID: C12-12-006
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