An unusual matched pair of hinged hair combs or hair pins, Norwegian workmanship
CONDITION: one comb has the pin replaced in the hinge otherwise good vintage condition
SIZE: 4½ ins h x 1 ins w (11 x 2.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: metal, faux tortoiseshell
Here is a pretty matched pair of two pronged hair pins or hair combs which I believe are Norwegian in origin. I recognise the style of workmanship in the headings as being similar to a hair comb I once had that was signed “Christiania” (an old name for Oslo).
The combs have two long tines in faux tortoiseshell and a circular heading which is mounted upon a flexible hinge. The silver work is done in a very distinctive manner, featuring balls and whirls of metal. It reminds me of old Norse workmanship.
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 had only one or two tines.
The jewelry industry in the three Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Norway and Sweden – did not come into its own until the late 19th century. Prior to this time, jewelry from these countries drew primarily on early Nordic traditions. Heavily embellished bracelets, rings, and pendants featured complex knotted designs. Often showcasing symbolic animals and signs. These pieces emphasized their metal materials, particularly silver, with limited gemstone and pearl decoration.