A striking Art Deco multicolour “end of day” comb in a classic wedge shape
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 5 ins h x 3 ins w (13 x 7.5 cm) decorative part 2½ ins (6 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1920s – 1930s
Here is an unusual multi coloured hair ornament of the type known as “end of day” combs.
This ornament was made from all the celluloid waste which was left at the end of the day. These bits and pieces of differently coloured material were simply heated up and poured into a mould, thus resulting in the multi coloured appearance of the finished article. These end of day combs are usually small in size, made in openwork designs and may sometimes have added rhinestones. They are typical of the Art Deco period and much sought after by collectors.
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 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.
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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