Huge Art Deco hair comb pierced Spanish style hair accessory - image 1 of 11

Oversized celluloid hair comb from the Art Deco period

CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear

SIZE: 10 ins h x 7 ins w (25 x 18 cm) decorative part 6½ ins w (16 cm)

APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s

MATERIALS: celluloid


Here is a monster Art Deco hair comb which is certainly not for the faint hearted!

The comb is made in opaque amber colour celluloid and has a high wedge shaped hearing which rises to a point in the centre. The heading panel if filled with lacy openwork, a combination of both geometrical and interlaced 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.

Such frequently large 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.

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10 ins h x 7 ins w (25 x 18 cm)

The Spanish Comb

Huge Art Deco hair comb pierced Spanish style hair accessory


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