A handsome and lavishly gilded signed hair comb from the Auguste Bonaz workshop
CONDITION: good vintage condition
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
SIZE: 3¾ ins h x 5 ins w (9.5 x 13 cms)
This handsome comb bears the signature of Auguste Bonaz, the master comb maker of the Art Deco period. His innovative and varied designs are widely collected and no comb collection is really complete without an example by Bonaz.
This lovely back comb is made in celluloid faux tortoiseshell with an interesting geometric design. A series of acute triangles which face to the left are set against a background of scroll work. The triangles are further enriched with gilding.
The signature of the Bonaz workshop appears on the back of the comb.
Maison Bonaz worked in new materials such as Bakelite and Galalith, and explored the versatility of the materials and their specific qualities. The work of House Bonaz reflected the modern qualities of the constructivist and futurist art movements, and the aesthetics of the Bauhaus.
In Modernism the emphasis was upon the medium, and the process of production rather than the intrinsic value of the materials. Futurism too discarded the art of the past in favour of change, originality and innovation. It glorified the new technology of the automobile and the glory of speed and power and movement. The Bauhaus was an attempt to combine craftsmanship and high design with mass production.
The discovery of Galalith, and other similar substances, allowed fashion and jewelry designers to produce new and modern forms which were not previously possible. These materials easily lent themselves to different designs as the material could be dyed, drilled, embossed and cut in a variety of ways, all while being relatively inexpensive to produce. The material lent wings to the creativity of more forward-thinking designers who viewed the material as an opportunity to completely revolutionize jewelry design. Designers such as Auguste Bonaz utilized strong linear and colour juxtapositions which reflect the changes taking place in such artistic movements as Cubism and Modernism.
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