A classic late Victorian hair comb in faux tortoiseshell
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 5 ins h x 3¼ ins w (13 x 9 cm) decorative part 2½ ins h (6 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: celluloid faux tortoiseshell
Here is a very attractive Spanish style hair comb which dates from the period around the turn of the 20th century. It is made from nicely marked faux tortoiseshell and has a high wedge shaped heading with an attractive openwork panel of scroll motifs.
The collage picture shows similar hair ornaments taken from contemporary illustrative sources and the hair styles with which they were worn.
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.
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Late Victorian hair comb in imitation tortoiseshell hair ornament