A collection of three late Victorian polished brass hair pins or hair combs
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
#1 matched pair of brass hair pins measure 5 ins h x 1¼ ins w (13 x 3 cm)
#2 loop topped hair pin measures 5 ins h x 1 ½ ins w (13 x 4 cm)
Here is a collection of three metal two pronged combs or hair pins which date from the period around the turn of the 20th century. They comprise one matched pair of hair pins and one single.
The matched pair are made from polished brass with a curved heading decorated with a series if knobs. They have long twisted tines to help them grip the hair. The single hair pin is more elaborate and has a heading or top in the form of twisted openwork loops. It may have originally been one of a pair.
Small and light hair accessories like #2 were very popular around the turn of the 20th century when softer and looser hair dressing became popular. These new and more feminine styles demanded more delicate hair ornaments. Pairs and sets of hair pins were particularly popular.
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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Three late Victorian hair pins or hair comb accessories