A tall wedged shaped comb in dark red celluloid from the Art Deco period.
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 6½ ins h x 3 ins w (16 x 7.5 cms) decorative part 4 ins (10 cms)
MATERIALS: celluloid (an early collectable form of plastic), gilding
Here is a very beautiful dark red celluloid Spanish style hair comb dating from the Art Deco period. It has a wedge shaped heading which is tall and narrow and this was a very typical configuration for hair combs of the Art Deco period. The heading is decorated with a gilded design.
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.
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