A large and handsome Spanish style asymmetric hair comb in lacy design black celluloid
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 7 ins h x 4½ ins w (18 x 11 cms)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900s – 1920s
This handsome black celluloid hair comb is in the style which we call a Spanish mantilla comb after the beautiful combs which Spanish ladies wear with their traditional dress. This is a name given to any comb which has a tall heading (or upper part) which rises above the head.
This fine example is made in a transitional style which has elements of two main art movements: Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The Art Nouveau influence is indicated by complex intertwined lines, combined with scrollwork, and the use of a design which is asymmetrical. Although elements like interlaced lines and scrollwork persist, there is a stiffness and artificiality about the form of the general design which is leading inexorably towards the formalised geometry of Art Deco.
The final illustration is taken from a contemporary photograph of the early 20th century and shows the modish way of wearing these Spanish style combs. They were often placed in the hair at an acute angle as shown.
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