A handsome Spanish style hair comb signed by Auguste Bonaz
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 6 ins h x 4 ins w (15 x 10 cm) decorative part 3½ ins w (8 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
Here is a handsome celluloid faux tortoiseshell hair comb signed by Auguste Bonaz, widely regarded as the foremost designer of hair accessories in the Art Deco period.
The comb has a circular heading with an asymmetric design which appears in many of the combs from the Bonaz workshop. I have seen this in black, ivory, red, orange, green and blue.
The collage picture includes similar examples taken from contemporary photographic sources of the early 20th century.
Maison Bonaz worked in new materials such as Bakelite and Galalith, and explored the versatility of the materials and their specific qualities. The work of House Bonaz reflected the modern qualities of the constructivist and futurist art movements, and the aesthetics of the Bauhaus. In Modernism the emphasis was upon the medium, and the process of production rather than the intrinsic value of the materials. Futurism too discarded the art of the past in favour of change, originality and innovation. It glorified the new technology of the automobile and the glory of speed and power and movement. The Bauhaus was an attempt to combine craftsmanship and high design with mass production.
The discovery of Galalith, and other similar substances, allowed fashion and jewelry designers to produce new and modern forms which were not previously possible. These materials easily lent themselves to different designs as the material could be dyed, drilled, embossed and cut in a variety of ways, all while being relatively inexpensive to produce. The material was often used to make imitations of other materials; however this entirely new material lent wings to the creativity of more forward-thinking designers who viewed the material as an opportunity to completely revolutionize jewelry design. Designers such as Auguste Bonaz utilized strong linear and color juxtapositions which reflect the changes taking place in such artistic movements as Cubism and Modernism.
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