A handsome pair of dyed steer horn side combs with a pierced cut out design
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 2½ ins h x 4 ins w (6 x 10 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: steer horn
Here is a set of two steer horn hair combs which have been dyed to imitate the random mottling of tortoiseshell. Consequently each comb is differently marked from its companion.
The combs have a row of fine teeth and a curved heading which is surmounted by a heading of finely detailed open work.
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.
Side combs could be worn in a number of ways, as the illustrations depict. Mostly they were placed on either side of a centre parting to hold the “bangs” in place. However they might also be used at the sides of the dressing, beneath the chignon.
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