A striking mid Victorian celluloid hair comb possibly used for mourning
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 4 ins h x 5 ins w (10 x 13 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1840s – 1860s
Here is an interesting and striking Victorian mourning hair comb which probably dates from the 1840s – 1860s period.
The comb is made from moulded celluloid with the heading and tines all in one. The design shows a curved upper border connected to the comb mount by a series of moulded balls.
The collage picture includes similar examples taken from contemporary photographic sources and shows mourning costume, jewelry and hair accessories.
The importance of Victorian mourning etiquette upon the production of jewellery and personal ornaments was very marked. This etiquette decreed that in deep mourning, the widow and close relative of the deceased must dress in plain dark garments with a long veil hanging from the bonnet. This mourning dress is illustrated in the collage photograph. The only ornaments allowed to be worn at this time were those of jet, which is a natural material found in Whitby, a small town on the East coast of the UK. In order to extend the supply of jet when it became exhausted, various other materials were employed. One of these was celluloid.
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