A large and handsome Art Deco hair comb with a classic scroll openwork design
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 7 ins h x 4½ ins w (18 x 11cm) decorative part 4 ins h (10 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
Here is a large and striking celluloid hair comb from the Art Deco period. It has a tall rectangular heading and an intricate design of scroll work.
The ornament is made in an interesting two toned effect which was known as laminate celluloid or celluloid overlay. This produced a two tone effect by layering two pieces of colored celluloid together, sometimes carving or incising designs to expose the contrasting colors. Here, for example, a translucent base has been overlaid with a shiny black upper shell.
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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