A pretty rhinestone Spanish style hair comb from the mid 20th century
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 5½ ins h x 3 ins w (14 x 7.5 cm) decorative part 2½ ins h (6 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1960s
MATERIALS: faux tortoiseshell, rhinestone, metal dots
Here is a handsome Spanish style hair comb dating from the mid 20th century. It is made from celluloid faux tortoiseshell with an oval shaped ornamental top or heading. The decorative treatment in which small dots of silver or gold coloured metal were placed among the clear rhinestones to enhance their glitter is typical of this period.
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.
Hollywood Regency is an American style which is sometimes known outside the USA as neo-Baroque. It evokes all the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood movies, hence the name. In hair accessories and jewellery it is usually characterised by elaborate designs featuring bold settings of rhinestones, intermixed with coloured stones and/or faux pearls. The most iconic pieces feature the use of so called AB (Aurora Borealis) rhinestones which are multi coloured. AB rhinestones were invented in the 1950s and so a piece which features them cannot be earlier.
Designs tend to be chunky and feature floral and naturalistic motifs, or bows, hearts and other romantic themes. As the name implies, it is a style intended to draw the eye and create an illusion of richness and opulence.
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