A late Victorian asymmetric design hair comb in celluloid faux tortoiseshell with applied silver decals.
CONDITION: there are some minor “nibbles” on the top right of the heading otherwise good vintage condition
SIZE: 5¼ ins h x 2½ ins w (13.5 x 5.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: faux tortoiseshell, silver tone metal
Here is a pretty late Victorian faux tortoiseshell hair comb with an interesting “raggedy” outline. These asymmetric design hair ornaments seem to have been a fashion fad of the period around the turn of the 20th century.
The comb is made from celluloid faux tortoiseshell with an applied panel of openwork silver tone metal featuring a scroll and floral design.
Towards the end of the 19th century the fashion in hairdressing changed to a softer more feminine look. The late Victorian and Edwardian styles were simpler and this in turn led to a taste for lighter and more delicate looking hair accessories. Some of these hair accessories, like out example here, had only one or two tines. The hair combs were much smaller than hitherto and an appearance of airy delicacy was in vogue. Filigree and cut out effects in both metal and tortoiseshell were fashionable.
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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