A handsome late Victorian hair comb in celluloid faux tortoiseshell
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear for age
SIZE: 6 ins h x 3¼ ins w (15 x 8 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
Here is a pretty celluloid faux tortoiseshell comb with an openwork heading and a spiky top profile. 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.
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.
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Victorian faux tortoiseshell hair comb Spanish mantilla style hair accessory (AGA)
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