One of the most beautiful and spectacular Art Nouveau hair combs I have ever had in my collection, decorated with rare peacock stones and metal wings motif.
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 3½ ins h x 5½ ins w (9 x 14 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1895- 1910
MATERIALS: metal, glass stones, celluloid
Some of the most beautiful and sympathetic treatments of Art Nouveau, appear in combs and hairpins. Here is a wonderful Art Nouveau hinged comb which features both a wings motif and also extends a nod to that wonderful bird, the peacock.
The comb mount is of dyed horn, attached to the spectacular heading by an articulated hinge of silver tone metal. The heading takes the form of two wings extending outwards, beautifully executed in silver tone metal. Each individual feather is beautifully etched. Set between the wings in a large oval peacock stone, while two smaller peacock stones adorn each of the wings.
The Art Nouveau jewellers favoured themes taken from nature, especially winged creatures such as birds, butterflies, dragonflies and moths. Another popular motif was the peacock, because of the beauty of the male bird’s unfurled tail during the courting period. These subjects are often interpreted in a completely exotic style which bears very little relation to how the creature might appear “in the wild”.
The ornament may be adjusted to various positions within the coiffure and may be worn either tiara style or as a back comb.
Winged motifs were very popular for hair accessories around the turn of the 20th century. The collage illustration shows a selection of similar winged tiara and comb ornaments taken from contemporary sources.
This lovely comb is adorned with peacock stones, and there are many collectors of this beautiful antique glass. Czech foiled “peacock stones” are made from glass with a piece of decorative foil at the back which reflects the traditional design of the eye of a peacock’s tail – green, blue and black. These are not true stones but glass cabochons and were very popular in quality Art Nouveau jewelry.
The making of this glass was very labour intensive, so these stones were used in either precious metal or in very fashionable costume jewelry settings including the styles of Art Nouveau, Egyptian Revival, and Arts and Crafts. The stones were exported to other countries such as Germany and England where they were used to make some beautiful quality jewelry.
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