A collection of four late Victorian or Edwardian horn and celluloid hair pins
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1840s – 1860s
MATERIALS: steer horn
A collection of four late Victorian or Edwardian horn and celluloid two pronged combs or hair pins comprising a matched pair and two singles
#1 matched pair two pronged hair combs measure 4¼ ins h x 1½ ins w (10.5 x 4 cm)
#2 fleur de lys topped hair pin measures 5 ins h x 1¼ ins w (13 x 3 cm)
#3 round topped hair pin measures 4 ins h (10 cm)
The final picture illustrates similar hair accessories from contemporary sources and shows the hair styles with which they were used.
Simple two pronged combs such as these were made in pairs, or sometimes set with a larger matching comb. They were worn throughout the 19th and early 20th century. They could perform both an ornamental and a useful function, being used to hold the elaborate coiffures of the day in place as well as to adorn the hair.
Hair pins like this are characteristically made in one solid piece of the material, which might be horn, tortoiseshell, or some synthetic like celluloid. They usually have only one or two tines and their top or heading in a simple shape such as a horseshoe or rectangle, sometimes with the addition of rhinestones or a little openwork decoration.
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Four steer horn and celluloid hair combs or hair pins