A handsome mid Victorian hinged tiara comb with jet embellishment
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 3½ ins h x 4¼ ins w (9 x 10.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1850s – 1880s
MATERIALS: metal. French jet, horn
Here is a very fine mid Victorian tiara style hair comb. The ornament has a comb mount made from dark brown coloured steer horn with three prongs. Attached to this by a brass hinge is a gold tone metal heading constructed as a filigree arch. Attached to this at intervals are faceted balls of French jet.
Such combs are often called tiara combs because the hinged mount gave them a considerable degree of flexibility. They could therefore be worn either in the back of the dressing, below or within the chignon, or tiara style above the forehead. In this latter position the tines would be concealed beneath the hair, so that the ornamental heading functioned as a mini tiara.
The collage picture shows other examples of this type of hair accessory taken from contemporary sources, together with the type of hairdressing with which they were worn.
French jet is a glittering form of black glass which has nothing to do with France, but was produced mainly in Bohemia, now part of modern Czechoslovakia, in the late 19th and early 20th century when it was extremely popular for jewellery making. It was widely used in the mourning industry as a substitute for genuine jet when supplies of that mineral began to fail.
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Victorian mourning hair comb hinged jet tiara style hair accessory
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