A handsome late Victorian hair comb carved with a figural dragon
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 5½ ins h x 5 ins w (14 x 13 cm) decorative part 2½ ins h (6 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1870s – 1880s
MATERIALS: faux tortoiseshell
This very beautiful asymmetric style comb is made from celluloid faux tortoiseshell in the style of genuine shell combs which were being imported from China at this time. It has an oval shaped heading which flares out to the left. The outstanding feature is the coiled oriental dragon which fills up the entire space.
The collage picture shows a selection of illustrations from contemporary sources with similar hair accessories and the hair styles with which they were worn.
Unlike their somewhat evil reputation in the West dragons are worshipped and adored in Oriental lands. The legend of the Chinese Dragon permeates the ancient Chinese civilization and has shaped their culture until today. Unlike the negative energies associated with Western Dragons, most Eastern Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. Instead of being hated, they are loved and worshipped. Temples and shrines have been built to honour them, for they are believed to control the rain, rivers, lakes, and seas. Many Chinese cities have pagodas where people used to burn incense and pray to dragons.
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Faux tortoiseshell dragon hair comb Victorian hair ornament