A pretty late Victorian celluloid faux tortoiseshell hair comb in asymmetric design
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear for age
SIZE: 6 ins h x 3½ ins w (15 x 8 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: celluloid faux tortoiseshell
Here is a pretty asymmetric design hair comb which dates from the period of around the turn of the 20th century.
The comb is made from celluloid faux tortoiseshell with a design reminiscent of foliage inclined to the left.
The collage picture includes a similar example taken from a contemporary trade catalog. It also shows a photograph taken from a late Victorian carte de visite where a sitter wears a similar ornament of asymmetric design placed in 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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