A late Victorian or turn of the century silver tone metal hair comb with pierced design
Bridal or bridesmaid gift
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 6 x 4½ ins (15 x 11 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
Here is a pretty fan shaped hair comb made in a pale silver tone metal. It has an intricate pierced design which is suggestive of the tail of a peacock. Motifs like this were in favour in the period around the turn of the 20th century.
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.
Towards the end of the 19th century the fashion in hairdressing changed to a softer more feminine look. The late Victorian and Edwardian styles were simpler and this in turn led to a taste for lighter and more delicate looking hair accessories. Some of these hair accessories, like our example here, had only one or two tines. The hair combs were much smaller than hitherto and an appearance of airy delicacy was in vogue. Filigree and cut out effects in both metal and tortoiseshell were fashionable.
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