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A classic Victorian hinged hair comb in mother of pearl and gilded metal
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 3 ins h x 4½ ins w (7.5 x 11 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1850s – 1880s
MATERIALS: steer horn, mother of pearl, metal
Here is a handsome and classic hinged hair comb of the mid Victorian era.
The comb mount is made from steer horn which has been partially clarified to render it semi translucent and then dyed light brown. It has six tines to secure it in the hair.
The heading comprises a curved piece of natural mother of pearl of the white variety, with lovely iridescent colourings of subtle blue and mauve. Mounted upon this is a spray of gilded metal done in a flowing asymmetric fashion and intended to represent berries and buds with their foliage. The “berries” are represented by faux pearls and the “buds” by large faceted prong set clear rhinestones.
The collage photograph shows illustrations taken from contemporary sources and depicts similar hinged ornaments, showing how they were placed in the hair styles of the day.
A salient feature of this hair accessory is that the heading of mother of pearl, which is made in a rectangular curved shape, is attached to the prongs by a flexible hinge of gilt metal, which allows it to rotate through 90 or more degrees. This allows the comb to be adjusted to various positions within the coiffure. It may be worn either in the back of the hairdressing or above the forehead as a tiara. In this latter case the prongs would be concealed among the front hair. This is why ornaments of this type are often called a tiara comb, because in wear they give the effect of a much more formal ornament.
In the mid-Victorian coiffure, masses of false hair were worn in order to construct the elaborate coiffures. Combs such as these would have been very effective at concealing the addition of these false tresses. The comb could be placed at the juncture between the wearer’s own hair and the addition, while the fold down heading concealed a multitude of sins.
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Gender: Female, Age Group: Adult, Color: white/gold metallic, Size: 3 ins h x 4½ ins w (7.5 x 11 cm)
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Victorian hinged hair comb mother of pearl gilded leaves hair accessory
$230 USD SOLD
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