An unusual Art Deco evening headpiece with metal embroidery and sequins
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear for age
SIZE: Decorative front piece 3 ins h x 5½ ins h (7.5 x 14 cm) ties measure 7 and 14 ins respectively (18 x 36 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
MATERIALS: fabric, metallic thread, faux pearls, sequins
Here is a rare surviving example of an Art Deco oriental style evening headdress made in the currently popular oriental style. The embroidery which decorates the front of the headdress was undoubtedly done in India.
It comprises a floral design worked in metal thread which is further embellished with red glass stones, faux pearls and gold sequins. The headdress is stiffened with card and backed with red coloured fabric. It is held in position by silk cord ties one of which has lost its tasselled end piece, but can still be effectively used. It would have been worn low across the forehead, as seen on the mannequin.
From about 1910 fashionable hairdressing began to conform more closely to the shape of the head. The new mode required a “Grecian” dressing with the hair softly waved into a low chignon. Along with this style the forehead bandeau became modish and its long reign was to endure for about 15 years.
These bandeaux were produced in a wide range of materials. Sometimes they were made in fabric, as a dress accessory, or in metal and stones as an article of jewellery. At this time the oriental influence in costume was very strong, so many of these bandeau were given an exotic Eastern look with beaded and pearl encrusted metallic lace and embroidery. Some have dangling pendants at the sides or passing beneath the chin. These ornaments, whatever their composition, are worn low on the forehead in a very characteristic manner, just above the eyebrows. Even precious tiaras were worn in this manner.
Few of these lovely but fragile ornaments have survived, since they were discarded when they grew shabby or the fashion changed,
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Art Deco oriental style headpiece metallic embroidery bandeau headpiece