An unusual celluloid faux tortoiseshell hair comb with a geometric design
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 5½ ins h x 2½ ins w (14 x 6 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1920s – 1930s
Here is an unusual celluloid faux tortoiseshell hair comb which has a strong geometric appearance, and is from the Art Deco period of the early 20th century.
The comb has five sturdy tines, the centre three of which are split to obtain greater traction on the hair. The heading design features two formalised wing shapes which arise out of the centre.
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.
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