A striking faux tortoiseshell hair comb with gilded design (tests as celluloid)
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 6 ins h x 3 ins w (18 x 7.5 cm) decorative part 3½ ins h (9 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: celluloid faux tortoiseshell
Here is a tall and handsome hair comb from the late Victorian era. It has a wedge shaped heading with an engraved formalised design which has been in filled with gold paint to emphasize the pattern.
The collage picture shows a selection of illustrations from contemporary sources with similar hair accessories and the hair styles with which they were worn.
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.
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Late Victorian hair comb faux tortoiseshell etched hair accessory
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