A pretty wedge shaped turquoise moiré hair comb from the Art Deco period
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 5 ins h x 3 ins w (13 x 7.5 cm) decorative part 2 ins (5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1920s – 1930s
Here is an interesting celluloid comb made with one of the fancy effects which was made possible by the new synthetics. In this case the comb is in a beautiful turquoise moiré effect, like that of old fashioned oiled silk.
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.
This comb is a variation of the iconic design of Art Deco combs whereby “blades” or openwork or solid panels radiate outwards from the base of the heading. This is a very typical motif in Art Deco combs, and in the art of the period. Some people interpret the spokes as representing the wheel, and thus symbolising the Futurist fascination with speed and machinery. This spokes or sunray motif appears in many forms. Sometimes it is abstracted to a series of lines or mere “spokes” which radiate out from the base of the heading.
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