An Art Deco period French ivory fan shaped hair comb with openwork floral design
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 6 ins h x 7 ins w (15 x 18 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
MATERIALS: French ivory
Here we have a classic French ivory fan shaped hair comb from the Art Deco period.
The ornament is made from an early celluloid substance, popularly known as French ivory, because it was invented to substitute for the much more expensive elephant ivory which was becoming rare and expensive by the early 20th century. It contains no materials from an endangered species.
The comb has a classic fan shaped heading with an asymmetric openwork design of florals, placed against a geometric background.
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.
The collage photograph shows illustrations taken from contemporary sources and depicts similar ornaments, showing how they were placed in the hair styles of the day.
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