A classic Regency period gilded metal hair comb embellished with faceted faux coral beads
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 4 ins h x 3½ ins w (10 x 9 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1800s – 1830s
MATERIALS: metal, faux coral
This is a lovely late Georgian or Regency period mantilla style comb made from fire gilded brass. It is in excellent condition and still has its original comb mount with all tines intact.
The comb mount comprises a curved heading of brass with seventeen long tines made from brass wire. The tines are in good condition and not bent out of shape, as is often the case with these early combs. Above this curved heading is placed a row of coral beads which are raised up on spikes in the usual manner. Each is topped off by a small brass finial.
This ornament may originally have been part of a set, consisting of a matching comb and tiara in a fitted case. The usual metal for them was silver, or silver gilt, (which is sterling silver which has been over-gilded), or as in this case, fire-gilt brass. This is nowadays usually given the name Pinchbeck. This metal gives the appearance of gold because it does not tarnish, although in fact it contains no gold at all.
In France, where most of these decorative tiara combs were produced, it was possible to secure matching sets of combs and tiaras. Faux pearls, coral and various coloured semi precious gemstones or pastes were the favourite modes of decoration.
The final picture contains illustrations from contemporary sources showing similar examples of combs and how they were placed in the classical Grecian style coiffure which was then in vogue.
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