A large celluloid faux tortoiseshell hair accessory from the Art Deco period
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 11 x 11 ins (28 x 28 cms) decorative part 7½ ins h (19 cms)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
Here is a very beautiful and large Spanish style comb from the Art Deco period of the early 20th century.
The comb is made of celluloid faux tortoiseshell and has a very wide curved profile. The heading features an openwork asymmetric design of much stylised leaves and flowers.
The pictures with the mannequin show the height and effect in wear, and the manner in which the beautiful heading design may be seen from all angles.
The term 'Spanish mantilla combs' is often used as a kind of umbrella category for any decorative hair comb with a high upstanding cresting that rises up proud from the top of the head when the comb is placed in position. However, the Spanish mantilla comb or Peineta, to give it the correct name, is rightly that comb which is part of the beautiful and traditional native dress worn in certain parts of Spain.
We are all familiar with this kind of Peineta, where the enormous cresting rises anything from eight to twelve inches above the wearers head, and supports a beautiful lace veil.
The origins of the mantilla go far back into Spanish history. However it was not until the 19th century that these lovely veils began to be draped over the high peineta. The fashion for these high combs spread across Europe where many beautiful examples were made from tortoise shell, horn and other materials.
The high combs were adopted at the Spanish court and this led to their being regarded as part of traditional Spanish costume. These extremely large combs were popular during the Art Deco period, when they were adopted for fancy dress up costume. There was a vogue for Spanish flavour dress for some years.
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