A STRIKING ART DECO FRENCH IVORY HAIR COMB IN THE JAPANAISERIE STYLE
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 7½ ins h x 2¼ ins w (19 x 5.5 cms)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900s to 1920s
This beautiful Art Deco ornament is made from an early celluloid substance, popularly known as French ivory, because it was invented to substitute for the much more expensive elephant ivory which was becoming rare and expensive by the early 20th century.
Art Deco was an eclectic style which embraced many cultures and influences. One of these is the art of Japan, which is clearly represented in the design of this lovely comb. The comb has a tall asymmetric heading inclines to the left. It has a very beautiful design representing water lilies which is engraves into the surface and carried out in blue enamel. It is then further embellished with turquoise coloured rhinestones and small gilt metal dots
The influence of Japan is clearly evident in both the design and its execution.
The assimilation of Japanese styles by European artists and artisans, particularly in the areas of design, was referred to as Japonisme or Japonaiserie by the French. It paved the way for a whole new philosophy of art and design. In England the same style was gradually submerged beneath the pseudo medievalism of the Arts and Crafts movement.
One of the ways in which it manifested itself was in a taste for shiny black lacquer, or lacquer like surfaces. Japonism had a strong influence upon the development of Art Nouveau in its use of asymmetry and the fondness for motifs taken from plants and nature, often considerably stylized. Japonaism flourished from circa 1870 to 1900.
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