A pair of rhinestone hair combs from the early 20th century
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900 – 1910s
MATERIALS: celluloid faux tortoiseshell, metal, rhinestones
These combs are excellent examples of the smaller and lighter hair accessories which became fashionable in the period around the turn of the 20th century.
#1 comb with curved top measures 3½ ins h x 1¼ ins w (9 x 3.5 cm)
#2 comb with metal and rhinestone top measures 3½ ins h x 1¼ ins w (9 x 3.5 cm)
Simple two pronged combs such as these were made in pairs, or sometimes set with a larger matching comb. They were worn throughout the late 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.
The collage picture shows a selection of illustrations from contemporary sources with similar hair accessories and the hair styles with which they were worn.
With the turn of the 20th century softer and more feminine hair styles became fashionable which encouraged the use of smaller and lighter hair accessories than hitherto. Those made of filigree or with a light and airy appearance, were the most popular.
Pairs and sets of hair pins were particularly popular. 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 usually have only one or two tines, and their top or heading is made 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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Two Edwardian rhinestone hair combs hair accessories