A classic mid Victorian hinged hair comb in brass cable design with cut steel stars
CONDITION: good vintage condition with original patina.
SIZE: 3 ins h x 5 ins w (7.5 x 13 cms)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1850s – 1880s
Here we have a large and handsome example of a classic hinged mid Victorian hair comb. The main feature of such ornaments is that the heading is adjustable, being attached to the prongs by a flexible hinge of gilt metal, which allows it to rotate through 90 or more degrees. This enables the ornament to be adjusted to various positions within the coiffure.
The comb mount is of natural steer horn which has been dyed to resemble tortoiseshell. The heading comprises a curved piece made in polished brass. This is overlaid with fancy milled brass wire which has been manipulated into a plaited or cable design. It is further embellished at intervals with small faceted stars of cut steel.
I left this comb mainly with its original patina rather than “shining it up” too much. However it could probably be polished up much brighter if desired.
Such combs may be worn either in the back of the hairdressing, within the chignon, or above the forehead as a tiara. Picture 9 incorporates a series of pictures taken from carte de visite from the mid Victorian period. They illustrate how these hinged combs could take various forms and be placed in the elaborate Victorian coiffure according to the fancy of the wearer.
This attractive type of hair accessory specifically designed to be worn at the rear of the hairdressing, within or covering the chignon. The comb mount is of gilded brass with six large pointed tines of dyed steer horn to pierce the hair. The heading comprises a curved piece made in polished brass. The heading is attached to the comb mount by a flexible hinge which allows it to rotate.
The comb heading is decorated with black enamel in a distinctly Islamic or Moorish design, further embellished with coloured glass stones. The metal ground has been engine turned to add interest, in the design which shown both shiny and matte treatments.
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