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A handsome French ivory hair comb with an unusual double sided design
CONDITION: good vintage condition with no missing stones although some have dulled slightly.
SIZE: 5 ins h x 4 ½ ins w (13 x 11 cms)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
This comb does not contain any material from an endangered species.
This ornament dates from the Art Deco period and is made from an early synthetic substance, popularly known as French ivory. It was invented to substitute for the much more expensive elephant ivory which was becoming rare and expensive by the early 20th century.
The design of this striking ornament is entirely typical of the Art Deco period and is quite unusual. The heading comprises a wide open loop, with two narrow tines placed on each side of the loop. As the various photographs show, the heading does not stand upright in the same plane as the tines. Instead it is bent somewhat backwards at an angle. It may have been intended for wear encircling a small chignon.
Another unusual aspect of this attractive comb is the band of fancy decoration which encircles the loop of the heading. This has an engraved and “carved” border of half flowers of typical Art Deco form, with a row of clear rhinestones set and top and bottom. Moreover, the comb is similarly decorated on both sides of the heading. It can therefore be worn with the “loop” projecting backwards or forwards, according to the chosen hairstyle of the wearer.
Perhaps the earliest reference to the term French ivory was the importation into the USA in 1913 of ivory colored cellulose nitrate articles manufactured by a company called the French Ivory Products Ltd, Toronto, Canada. Other American companies (e.g. J.B. Ash Co., Rockford, Illinois) seem to have adopted this trademark, and it is now taken as a generic term for ivory colored celluloid. Besides the plain cream colored celluloid there is a grained or striped version, often called zebra. The term “French” may have been deliberately adopted to add a certain cachet to enhance the image of an otherwise unremarkable material in a similar way to that employed for French jet (black glass in imitation of genuine Whitby jet).
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Gender: Female, Age Group: Adult, Color: cream, Size: 5 ins h x 4 ½ ins w (13 x 11 cms)
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Art Deco Hair Comb French Ivory Rhinestone Unusual Design
$135 USD SOLD
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