A delicately pierced late Victorian hair comb in faux tortoiseshell
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 7 ins h x 3 ins w (18 x 7.5 cm) decorative part 4 ins h (10 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
Here is a pretty faux tortoiseshell hair comb whose light filigree like appearance is typical of the hair accessories which appeared around the turn of the 20th century.
This attractive hair accessory has a tall pointed heading with asymmetric styling that is reminiscent of a stylized fern frond done in openwork. It is delicately shaded with a warm reddish brown at the top of the heading shading down to a darker solid colour on the tines.
The collage picture shows a selection of illustrations taken from contemporary sources which depict similar filigree like ornaments and the hair styles with which they were worn.
Changes in the manner of dressing the hair in the late 1800s led to a taste for smaller and lighter hair accessories than those which had been fashionable for the previous 20 years. The fashionable style was now the “Gibson Girl” look, where hair was dressed out over pads in a fluffy and feminine style with wisps escaping at the sides. With these softer styles the taste was for smaller ornaments, especially those with a light, openwork appearance.
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.
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Pierced faux tortoiseshell hair comb Victorian hair accessory
$120 ea.Quantity available: 2