An impressive Art Deco period hair comb with iconic figural parrot design
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 7½ ins h x 8½ ins w (18 x 21 cm) decorative part 4½ ins (11 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
Here is an extra large and very handsome fan shaped hair comb dating from the Art Deco period of the early 20th century.
The comb is made in translucent celluloid with a beautiful combination of colours in green and golden brown. This handsome comb has been manufactured in two distinct shades of celluloid. This is a decorative effect known as “celluloid overlay” where one colour is laid over a contrasting one during the production process.
Here, a foundation of translucent light gold has been given an upper coating of green. This creates an interesting two toned topography when the upper coating is cut through to show the lower. Here the effect can be seen most clearly in the design of a large exotic parrot which ornaments the heading and the tips of the tines.
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.
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. Large and elaborate combs like this were a feature of the early Art Deco period.
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