A handsome celluloid overlay Art Deco hair comb with rhinestone trim
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 6 ins h x 3 ins w (15 x 7.5 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1910s – 1920s
MATERIALS: celluloid, rhinestones
Here is a tall wedge shaped hair comb dating from the Art Deco period. It is made in two toned effect which is often called “celluloid overlay”. This means that a contrasting colour had been overlaid onto a base one to provide decorative effect. In this case a translucent base has been given a shiny black upper coating. This has been cut through in placed to reveal the translucent base beneath. The effect is particularly noticeable on the edges of the design and the tips of the tines. The top pierced border is further embellished by clear rhinestones.
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 and fan shaped 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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Handsome Art Deco hair comb celluloid overlay hair ornament