A fine Art Nouveau clarified and tinted horn hair comb with grapes design in the style of Bonte
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 5 ins h x 2½ ins w (13 x 6 cms)
MATERIALS: steer horn
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1895 - 1910
The lovely bleached and amber tinted horn comb featured here is carved with bunches of grapes and their foliage. It is made in the style of the Parisian Art Nouveau artist/designer Mme E Bonté who working in the early 1900s.
The final illustration is taken from a contemporary French jeweler’s catalogue and shows similar designs for carved horn combs and jewellery. Themes taken from nature such as flowers and foliage, and winged insects like butterflies and dragonflies, were much beloved by the Art Nouveau jewelers.
As a design movement Art Nouveau acquired a much localised style in the various lands where it appeared. However, regardless of its national origins, designs are characteristically formed by dynamic, undulating, and flowing lines in a syncopated rhythm and asymmetrical shape. Such characteristics are found throughout the architecture, painting, sculpture, and other forms of Art Nouveau design.
The Art Nouveau period was a turning point in design principals where imagination and free-flowing creativity were of the essence. The emphasis was on a return to hand craftsmanship and away from increasing industrialization. In Europe between c. 1895 and 1910, a revival in the use of horn was led by René Lalique, Lucien Gaillard and their contemporaries.
Clarified horn bleached with hydrogen peroxide, sometimes frosted, was their favored material. These innovative artists created some of the most imaginative and naturalistic designs ever seen, and their influence spread around Europe to other like-minded artists. Hair combs and pins especially gained enormous recognition owing to their supreme quality and are much sought after by collectors today.
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