An attractive signed Auguste Bonaz hair comb in celluloid faux tortoiseshell
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 7 ins h x 4 ins w (18 x 10 cms)
MATERIALS: celluloid (an early collectable form of plastic),
Here is a large and very beautiful Spanish style hair comb dating from the Art Deco period. It is signed by Auguste Bonaz, the premier comb maker of the Art Deco period.
The comb is made from celluloid faux tortoiseshell and has a tall wedge shaped heading composed of five rays which are connected at the top and bottom. The configuration of the tines is also unusual.
This type of ornament is often known as Spanish or mantilla comb because it resembles a smaller version of the traditional large tortoiseshell ornaments worn by Spanish ladies with their native dress. In practice any comb which has a high upstanding heading or top is often called a mantilla comb.
The final illustration shows a selection of sitters wearing similar ornaments and is taken from contemporary sources of the early 20th century.
Ornaments like this were worn in a characteristic manner, being placed such a way that the tall heading stood up proud. This enabled them to be viewed from all angles and for the details to be seen effectively outlined against the light.
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. Designers such as Auguste Bonaz utilized strong linear and color juxtapositions which reflect the changes taking place in such artistic movements as Cubism and Modernism.
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