A handsome blonde celluloid Spanish style hair comb with leaves and flowers design
CONDITION: sticky label on back otherwise good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 5 ins h x 3½ ins w (13 x 9 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1880s - 1900
MATERIALS: celluloid, rhinestones, faux pearls
This lovely late Victorian Spanish style comb is made in amber coloured tortoiseshell and has a high stand up heading which is typical of the period. The heading comprises a solid panel which is decorated with engraved designs of flowers, leaves and butterflies. These designs have been with gilding to provide emphasis and then set with clear rhinestones and small faux pearls for further embellishment. The design is a naturalistic asymmetric one and is typical of the late Victorian period.
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.
High topped combs like this were extremely popular in the later Victorian era during the 1870s and 1880s. This was due to the debut of the opera Carmen, which promoted a fashion for Spanish style combs with extremely tall headings. Such combs were produced in a variety of materials from tortoiseshell and silver for the higher end of the market down to horn and celluloid for the more popular end.
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Late Victorian hair comb faux pearl rhinestone trim hair ornament
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