A high quality Art Deco Spanish style hair comb with signature
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 5½ x 4 ins (14 x 10 cm) decorative part 3¼ (8 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
MATERIALS: celluloid, metal, rhinestones
Here is a very beautiful and high quality Art Deco hair comb of the Spanish mantilla style. The back of one tine bears a signature but I cannot decipher it. It is not the signature of Auguste Bonaz although the comb is certainly of equivalent quality to the Bonaz atelier productions.
The comb has an unusual centre configuration whereby the heading is all in one with the tines. This portion is made in glossy black celluloid with an embellished design where bears resemblance to the so-called “Mackintosh Rose”. Mackintosh used this stylised cabbage like rose design in a number of projects from textiles to stained glass. It is characterised by restraint and economy of means rather than ostentatious accumulation. Here the design is further embellished by brass studs and dark amber rhinestones.
The top border of the heading has an added panel of faux tortoiseshell which is also embellished with gold tone metal studs.
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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