A beautiful Art Deco rhinestone hair comb made in the peacock’s tail design
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 6 ins h x 3 ins w (15 x 7.5 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1920s
MATERIALS: celluloid, rhinestones
Here is a very beautiful hair accessory from the transitional years between Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The motif of the heading is a representation of a peacock’s tail, a theme much loved by the Art Nouveau jewellers.
The beauty of the male bird’s unfurled tail during the courting period was a very popular subject for hair accessories. Here the subject is interpreted in a completely exotic style which bears very little relation to how the bird might appear “in the wild”.
The base material of the comb is mottled celluloid, whereby three upstanding feather motifs arise from the base of the heading. They are delicately pierced and further embellished with dark blue and green rhinestones.
The collage picture includes similar examples of hair combs taken from contemporary photographic sources and shows 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.
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