An unusual Victorian faux tortoiseshell tiara style bandeau comb with decorative balls
CONDITION: 1 ball is missing
SIZE: 2 ins h x 16 ins around the curve (5 x 40 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1850s – 1880s
MATERIALS: faux tortoiseshell
Here we have an unusual and large mid Victorian faux tortoiseshell hair comb which resembles a tiara or headband. The top view of the comb shows that it comprises an arched piece which is designed to pass completely around the front and sides of the head. Attached to this for ornamentation are a series of semi-spheres in decreasing sizes. One of these on the right hand side is missing. However the roundel on the other side could easily be removed to even up the effect.
This ornamental part is attached by a rotating hinge to a faux tortoiseshell comb mount with eight tines. This hinge permits the heading to be moved to different angles. The final collage picture includes illustrations of such combs which resemble tiaras or headbands, and show how they were worn. When placed in situ, with the comb mount concealed beneath the front hair or high chignon, they resemble a much more formal ornament. This is why they are often known as tiara style combs.
The hairstyles of the mid-Victorian period were large and impressive, with vast quantities of false hair being used to form a huge chignon or, for the evening, trailing ringlets. Therefore the ornaments which were used to adorn them were often equally large and impressive. Large and handsome combs like this would have been used by a fashionable Victorian lady to adorn the hair. Combs such as these would have been very effective at concealing the addition of these false tresses.
The surface of the material in this hair ornament is beautifully marked with the typical “tortoise” style mottling and is a very faithful imitation of genuine shell. Many of the later 19th century the hair ornaments which appear to be made of tortoise are, in fact, made from synthetics. These faux tortoise combs are some of the prettiest to be found at this period, since it is unusual to find two exactly alike. Some of them are very convincing and difficult to distinguish from the genuine material, and are skilfully treated to imitate the brown and orange mottling of genuine tortoiseshell.
3 other shoppers have this item in their Cart or Wish List
Antique and Vintage Hair Combs and Accessories from Around the World
Exciting new items arrive regularly so do check back often!