Matched pair of cream celluloid  hair combs sunray design hair accessories - image 1 of 14

A handsome matched pair of Art Deco hair combs in celluloid

CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear for age

SIZE: 4 ¼ ins h x 4 ins w (10.5 x 10 cm) decorative part 2 ins h (5 cm)

APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910 – 1920s

MATERIALS: celluloid


Here is a pretty matched pair of fan shaped hair combs made from cream coloured celluloid

The ornaments are made in the iconic fan shape, in which lines or blades radiate out from the base of the heading. This heading design is typical of many combs of the period, with radiating lines or panels resembling sunrays, or perhaps the spokes of a wheel. One theory about such designs is that the sun rays emerged from the popular vogue for sunbathing which began at this time. Previously ladies had shunned the idea of sunbathing. Another theory is that the spoke like designs reflected the wheel, and the obsession with speed and technology. This was the age of the car and the plane after all!


Such frequently large and fan shaped Spanish style combs became extremely fashionable in Britain and America during the early 20th century. They were worn in a characteristic manner, being placed in the side or back of the hairdressing at an acute angle, and in such a way that the tall heading stood up proud. This enabled the often beautiful openwork decoration or the decorative effect which had been applied to the material, to be viewed from all angles, and for the details to be seen effectively outlined against the light.

Combs were often worn in matched pairs and the final picture shows a popular glamour postcard with a lady wearing two hair combs with a similar “sunray” design.

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4 ¼ ins h x 4 ins w (10.5 x 10 cm)
Early 20th Century

The Spanish Comb

Matched pair of cream celluloid hair combs sunray design hair accessories


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