An unusual Victorian mourning tiara style celluloid hair comb
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 1½ ins h x 5 ins w (4 x 13 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1850s – 1880s
MATERIALS: metal, celluloid
Here is an unusual Victorian mourning ornament made in the form of a tiara style ornament. Tiara style combs are so called because in wear they give the impression of a much more formal ornament. The teeth would be concealed beneath the front hair leaving only the tiara style heading visible.
The foundation of the comb is a metal mount with backwards projecting metal tines. They are set at an angle of 45 degrees from the heading, being the usual arrangement with tiara style combs. Onto this is mounted s decorative heading which comprised celluloid tubing of a dark brown – almost black – colouring. This tubing has been intricately would into a looped form which resembles chain or cable work.
I have never seen a comb quite like this and it looks to have been hand made in a small local factory.
The importance of Victorian mourning etiquette upon the production of jewellery and personal ornaments was very marked. This etiquette decreed that in deep mourning, the widow and close relative of the deceased must dress in plain dark garments. The only ornaments allowed to be worn at this time were those of jet, which is a natural material found in Whitby, a small town on the East coast of the UK. In order to extend the supply of jet when it became exhausted, various other materials were employed. One of these was black celluloid which could be pierced and moulded into intricate openwork designs.
Another shopper has this item in their Cart or Wish List
Antique and Vintage Hair Combs and Accessories from Around the World
Exciting new items arrive regularly so do check back often!