A large and spectacular Art Deco hair comb in a swirled openwork design
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 7 x 7 ins (20 x 20 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s - 1920s
Here we have lone of the large and spectacular fan shaped hair combs which are typical of the early Art Deco period. The design is a swirled freeform one which gives the impression of excitement and movement.
This spectacular Art Deco period comb is made in two shades of celluloid. This is a decorative effect known as “celluloid overlay” where one colour is laid over a contrasting one during the production process. Here a foundation of translucent pale amber has been given an upper coating of mottled brown. This creates an interesting two toned topography when the upper coating is cut through to show the lower. Here the effect can be seen on the edges of the openwork design and the tips of the tines.
The collage picture shows sitters from contemporary photographs, revealing the fashionable hair style and wearing similar ornaments.
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.
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