A large and attractive Art Deco hair comb with a distinctive floral design
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 8¼ ins h x 7 ins w (21 x 18 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
Here we have a large and attractive celluloid hair comb from the Art Deco period.
The ornament has a wide wedge shaped heading with panels of floral design and an interesting parti-color effect. This is an example of laminate celluloid, also known as celluloid overlay, which produced this two tone effect layering two pieces of colored celluloid together. In this case a semi transparent bas material has been given a shiny upper shell. Carving or incising the designs to expose the contrasting colors creates this attractive two toned effect which is best seen on the edges of the design.
The collage picture includes similar examples taken from contemporary photographic sources of the early 20th century, 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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