A striking jade green hair comb with an unusual asymmetric design
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 6 ins h x 5 ins w (15 x 13 cm) decorative part 3½ ins (9 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
Here is a very handsome decorative comb in jade green celluloid and dating from the Art Deco period.
Art Deco is often described as a “geometric” style. However in practice it incorporated many historical and cultural influences. One of these was the influence of the Orient and lands such as China and Japan, where jade is a much valued material. Jade green is therefore one of those colours which is widely featured in Deco objects.
Here we see an asymmetric design inclined to the left, which is suggestive of foliage or fern fronds, and encapsulates a lively sense of movement and drama.
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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