A pretty Spanish style hair comb in celluloid faux tortoiseshell openwork design
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear for age
SIZE: 6½ ins h x 5 ins w (16 x 13 cm) decorative part 4 ins h (10 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s
MATERIALS: celluloid faux tortoiseshell
Here is a beautiful celluloid faux tortoiseshell hair comb dating from the closing years of the Victorian period.
It has a curved heading decorated with a beautiful openwork design. The detail of this shows a motif of two birds, placed back to back, and placed against a backdrop of foliage. The faux tortoiseshell design is beautifully executed in a very realistic matter and the material is highly polished.
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.
This beautiful comb is an excellent example of the smaller and daintier hair accessories which were worn at the end of the Victorian period. Fashions in hair dressing changed in the last ten tears of the 19th century. The styles were simpler and a softer, fluffier appearance was fashionable. Along with these more feminine coiffures hair accessories grew smaller, lighter and more delicate. Airy openwork designs were popular and these might be in metal or real or faux tortoiseshell.
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