Victorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornamentVictorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornamentVictorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornamentVictorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornamentVictorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornamentVictorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornamentVictorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornamentVictorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornamentVictorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornamentVictorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornament

A handsome late Victorian Spanish hair comb in nicely marked faux tortoiseshell

CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear

SIZE: 6 ins h x 4½ ins w (15 x 11 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)

APPROXIMATE DATE: 1870s – 1880s

MATERIALS: celluloid faux tortoiseshell

DESCRIPTION:

Here is a beautifully made Spanish style hair comb in celluloid faux tortoiseshell... The ornament is fashioned out of one large solid piece of the material which is very nicely marked and polished. The “tortoise” type patterning is very pronounced, with well defined mottling of lighter semi transparent patches on a dark opaque ground.
This hair accessory probably dates from the latter part of the Victorian era when these large combs were in fashion. 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.

The collage photograph shows some examples of similar hair accessories taken from contemporary illustrative sources, and reveals the manner and hair styles in which they were worn.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

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. Such combs are worn placed high on the head in order to allow the beauty of their ornamental cresting to be admired.

By the late 19th century genuine tortoiseshell had become very expensive. Therefore most of the hair ornaments which appear to be made of shell are, in fact, made from synthetics. These faux tortoise combs can be very pretty and effective since it is unusual to find two with exactly the same markings. Some of them are very convincing and are skillfully treated to imitate the random brown and orange mottling of genuine tortoiseshell. However, examined with a loupe, genuine shell has a three dimensional quality which cannot be duplicated.


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ITEM ID
DUP19-02-22
ITEM SIZE
6 ins h x 4½ ins w (15 x 11 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
ITEM TYPE
Vintage, Antique
COLOR
Brown
FASHION ERA
Victorian

Victorian hair comb pierced faux tortoiseshell hair ornament

$130


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    The Spanish Comb


    N Rossman
    Basingstoke, Hampshire, or , UK Platinum Platinumsince 2012