A handsome French ivory Spanish mantilla style hair comb
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 4½ ins h x 3¼ ins w (11 x 8 cms)
DATE: 1900s – 1910s
MATERIAL: French ivory / celluloid (an early form of collectible plastic)
This handsome and classic comb is made from a material which is generally known in the antiques trade as French Ivory. However this is a synthetic substance made to imitate the real material and does not contain any element from an endangered species.
This handsome comb has a high curved heading with a pierced openwork border.
This type of ornament is often known as Spanish or mantilla comb because it resembles a smaller version of the traditional large tortoiseshell ornaments worn by Spanish ladies with their native dress. In practice any comb which has a high upstanding heading or top is often called a mantilla comb.
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. and it is now taken as a generic term for ivory coloured celluloid. Besides the plain cream coloured celluloid there is a grained or striped version, often called zebra.
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