A handsome Edwardian faux tortoiseshell hair barrette with clear rhinestone trim
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear for age
SIZE: 1 ins h x 4½ ins w (2.5 cm x 11 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900s – 1910s
MATERIALS: celluloid faux tortoiseshell, metal, rhinestones
This very handsome hair barrette is of the type that was popular around the turn of the 20th century.
It is made in a narrow and wide rectangular shape with a foundation of celluloid faux tortoiseshell. Attached to the ground material is a metal framework with a classic design of scrolls and foliage. This framework is attached by metal rivets sunk into the faux tortoiseshell and not simply glued on with adhesive. Prong set clear rhinestones are placed at different points in the design to accentuate its beauty.
The barrette closes with a classic “loop and bar” mechanism made from celluloid.
At this period a very popular hairdressing was known as the Gibson Girl, from the drawings of the writer Charles Dana Gibson. In this style the hair was swept up in a padded or fluffed out arrangement of soft fullness. Large back combs or barrettes of this type helped to support the arrangement, as well as the huge hats of the period.
Such ornaments were specifically designed to be worn at the back of the head. They are identified by their width and by a deep curve to fit the back of the skull.
The collage picture includes similar examples taken from contemporary photographic and printed sources of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods and shows the fashionable hair dressing of the day.
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