A handsome rhinestone hair comb from the Edwardian Gibson Girl era with lattice effect
Bride or bridesmaid hair accessory
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 2¼ ins h x 4½ ins w (6 x 11 cms)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900s – 1910s
MATERIALS: celluloid, metal, rhinestones
Here we have a typical back comb dating from the late 19th or early 20th century – the Gibson Girl era. The comb mount is of dark reddish brown with a large open panel at the top. This is covered by a metal grille which is set at the intersections with clear rhinestones.
A back comb is a type of hair accessory specifically designed to be worn at the back of the hairdressing, either 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 have an elaborate heading or top decorated in some way.
The collage picture shows examples of the fashionable Gibson Girl hair dressing and is taken from contemporary sources of the late 19th and early 20th century. Combs such as this were typically used to support the coiffure at the back of the head,
Fashions in hair dressing changed in the last ten tears of the 19th century. The styles were simpler and a softer, fluffier appearance was fashionable. From the 1900s the Gibson Girl coiffure was popular, whereby the hair was fluffed out over pads with wisps often escaping at the back and sides.
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. Ornaments dating from the late Victorian and Edwardian periods are usually simpler. They tend to have an affixed gilt metal, silver tone or sterling frame which is adorned with prong set rhinestones or faux gems.
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