A handsome late Victorian back comb with multi color rhinestone embellishment
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 3½ ins h x 4¾ ins w (9 x 12 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1880s - 1900
MATERIALS: celluloid, metal, coloured stones
Here is a very handsome and elaborate late Victorian back comb made in celluloid faux tortoiseshell. The top of the heading is embellished with a silver tone metal openwork panel with a series of ornate heart shaped motifs arranged lozenge fashion. These elements are further decorated with multi coloured stones in green, pink, blue and amber.
A back comb is a type of hair accessory specifically designed to be worn at the rear of the hairdressing, above, below or within the chignon. It is usually identified by a deep curve made to fit the skull. These combs are usually wider than they are high and often have an elaborate heading or top decorated in some way.
Victorian back combs are usually very elaborate and may be decorated in a variety of ways such as with balls, cameos openwork or applied materials. As the turn of the 20th century approached the decoration was often lighter and simpler, with airy metalwork designs or those inspired by Art Nouveau motifs.
Large and elaborate combs like this were popular for wear with the padded out Gibson Girl hairdressing and supporting the large hats of the period.
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