A handsome mid century Spanish mantilla style hair comb in celluloid faux tortoiseshell
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 8 ins x 6¼ ins (20 x 15.5 cm) decorative part 5½ ins (14 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: mid 20th century
Here is a handsome celluloid faux tortoiseshell Spanish mantilla style comb which dates from the mid 20th century. The comb has an oval shaped heading with a classic scroll and foliage openwork design. Four sturdy tines hold it in place in the hair.
The name Spanish mantilla comb is generally given to any comb with a high upstanding heading. However the true Spanish comb is an ornament worn in Spain, and other Spanish speaking countries, for a very high ornamental comb which is typically draped with a lace veil. In the past such veils were worn when attending church, and others formal events. Although the use of these high combs and mantilla veils has declined in Spain, they are still used on formal occasions. Smaller versions of the high topped comb are also popular with Flamenco dancers and for weddings.
These showy and frequently very large Spanish combs became extremely popular as holiday souvenirs when the Spanish holiday market opened up to mass tourism in the mid 20th century.
The collage photograph shows illustrations taken from contemporary mid century sources in Spain. They depict similar ornaments and how they were placed in the hair styles of the day.
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