A very beautiful gold tone metal filigree hair comb from the late Victorian period
For the vintage bride who likes something different
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 5 ins h x 5 ins w (13 x 13 cm) decorative part 1½ ins h (4 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: metal filigree
Here is a very beautiful high topped filigree hair comb which probably dates from the last 10 years of the Victorian era. It has a wedge shaped heading composed of openwork panels of gilt filigree metal and incorporates formalised florals and classical scroll work.
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 picture includes similar examples taken from contemporary sources and shows the fashionable hair dressing of the day.
High topped combs like this were extremely popular in the later Victorian era during the 1870s and 1880s. 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 more feminine coiffures hair accessories grew smaller, lighter and more delicate. Airy openwork designs, such as those of filigree were popular.
Ornaments made from metal filigree received an impetus when Queen Victoria became Empress of India in 1879. Filigree work is traditional in India, but a genre of ornaments was produced for the Western market, which was strictly for export. These ornaments are often light and delicate in appearance, and are in keeping with the trend for less massive jewellery which characterised the later years of Queen Victoria’s reign.
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