A pretty late Victorian or Edwardian asymmetric hair comb with intricate pierced design.
CONDITION: could use a polish but otherwise good vintage condition
SIZE: 5¼ ins h x 2½ ins (13.5 x 56 cm) w decorative part 2½ ins h (6 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: steer horn, metal
Here is a late Victorian or Edwardian hair accessory which dates from the period around the turn of the 20th century.
The comb mount is made from horn which is dyed to a deep reddish brown, and has two sturdy tines. The asymmetric design heading is of silver tone metal in an attractive design of scroll work.
These asymmetric designs were a feature of the period around the turn of the 20th century and appear to have enjoyed great popularity.
Towards the end of the 19th century the fashion in hairdressing changed to a softer more feminine look. The late Victorian and Edwardian styles were simpler and this in turn led to a taste for lighter and more delicate looking hair accessories. Some of these hair accessories, like out example here, had only one or two tines. The hair combs were much smaller than hitherto and an appearance of airy delicacy was in vogue. Filigree and cut out effects in both metal and tortoiseshell were fashionable.
This type of ornament, with a top that stands proud of the head, 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 crest which stands proud of the top of the head is often called a mantilla comb.
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