A handsome Art Deco back comb dating from the early 20th century
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 3 ins h x 6 ins w (7.5 x 15 cm) decorative part 1¼ ins h (3 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
Here is a classic handsome back comb dating from the Art Deco period. It is made from celluloid faux tortoiseshell in an iconic design which wraps around the back of the head. The two top corners of the heading have been “pulled one” like extended wings.
The final picture illustrates similar hair accessories from contemporary sources and shows the hair styles with which they were used.
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.
A back comb is a type of hair ornament which is specifically designed to be worn on the rear of the dressing. It is deeply curved on the horizontal plane to fit comfortably against the curve of the skull. Such combs are usually wider than they are high, their primary purpose being to support and ornament an up do.
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Faux tortoiseshell hair comb from the Art Deco period hair accessory