A pretty Edwardian aluminium hair comb set with rhinestones
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear for age
SIZE: 5 ins h x 2 ins w (13 x 5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900s – 1910s
MATERIALS: aluminium, rhinestones
Here is an aluminium and rhinestone hair comb dating from the late 19th or early 20th century. It is made in a curved openwork design with diamond shapes set within compartments. The heading is set with the usual greyish-white rhinestones.
This is an excellent example of the smaller and lighter hair accessories which came into vogue in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. Changes in the manner of dressing the hair affected the fashions of such ornaments and filigree and pierced effects were very popular.
Changes in the manner of dressing the hair around the turn of the 20th century 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. Combs and hairpins in metal and tortoiseshell filigree were especially popular.
Aluminium is an interesting metal. Frenchman Henri Sainte-Claire Deville produced the first useful aluminium in 1854. The metal made its first public appearance the next year, at the 1855 Paris Exposition. Until 1862, it was considered a rare metal, and was used mostly for jewellery, decorative objects and delicate mechanical parts. As technological developments made aluminium more widely available, it came to symbolize modernity, and its malleability was soon appreciated by practitioners of the avant-garde and Art Nouveau. It was later used for much Modernist influenced jewellery and personal ornaments.
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