A collection of five faux tortoiseshell hair combs and hair pins
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900s – 1920s
MATERIALS: celluloid faux tortoiseshell
A collection of five early 20th century faux tortoiseshell hair accessories.
#1 hair comb with white dots measures 3½ ins h x 2¼ ins w (9 x 6 cm)
#2 matched pair hair pins measures 3½ ins h x 1 ins w (8 x 2.5 cm)
#3 round topped hair pin measures 3 ins h x 1 ins w (7.5 x 2.5 cm)
#4 scroll topped hair pin measures 4¼ ins h x 1¼ ins w (10.5 x 2.5 cm)
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.
Simple two pronged combs such as #2 were made in pairs, or sometimes sets 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, metal 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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Five early 20th century hair pins faux tortoiseshell hair ornaments