A pretty Victorian faux tortoiseshell style comb with asymmetric pierced design
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 4½ ins h x 2½ ins w (11 x 6 cm) decorative part 2 ins h (5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
Here is a pretty late Victorian hair comb which probably dates from the last 10 years of the 19th century.
The comb is made from celluloid faux tortoiseshell and has a wedge shaped heading which is typical of the period. The heading is adorned by an asymmetric panel of open work.
The final picture includes examples taken from contemporary Victorian photographs and shows similar items and the fashionable hair dressing 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 beautiful comb is an excellent example of the smaller and daintier hair accessories which were worn at the end of the Victorian period. Fashions in hair dressing changed in the last ten tears of the 19th century. The styles were simpler and a softer, fluffier appearance was fashionable. Along with these softer and more feminine coiffures hair accessories grew smaller, lighter and more delicate. Airy openwork designs, such as those of filigree were popular.
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