A very elaborate French Ivory Art Deco hair comb with engraved and pierced decoration
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 6½ ins h x 6¼ ins w (16 x 15.5 cms)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
MATERIALS: French Ivory/celluloid (an early form of collectible plastic), It contains no materials from an endangered species.
This is a very lovely and elaborate French Ivory hair comb from the Art Deco period. The comb is made in the classic opened fan shape with a series of blade like elements radiating out from the base of the heading.
Each blade like element is elaborately decorated. Every other one comprises an openwork panel with scroll motifs. In between, there are solid blades with a cartouche having a fantastic beast in the centre. An engraved design in the base material has been in-filled with black pigment to produce a delicate pattern. This is further embellished with metal dots and small clear rhinestones.
A truly wonderful comb!
This type of ornament is often known as Spanish or mantilla comb because it resembles a smaller version of the traditional large shell ornaments worn by Spanish ladies with their native dress. In practice any comb which has a high upstanding heading or top which stands proud of the top of the head is often called a mantilla comb.
The ornament is made from an early celluloid substance, popularly known as French ivory, because it was invented to substitute for the much more expensive elephant ivory which was becoming rare and expensive by the early 20th century. It contains no materials from an endangered species.
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