A pretty late Victorian steer horn hair comb with openwork carving
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 5 ins h x 3 ins w (13 x 7.5 cm) decorative part 2 ins h (5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: steer horn
Here is an attractive Victorian steer horn hair comb dating from the period 1890s – 1900s. The design of the wedge shaped ornamental heading features open carved scroll work.
At this period the Spanish style combs which have reigned supreme in the previous 20 years were still worn but their size has considerably diminished.
The collage picture shows several examples of sitters wearing combs of this design taken from contemporary illustrations,
Horn was one of the most popular materials for hair combs in the 19th century. The material was cheap and could be easily treated to obtain a number of decorative effects. It could be dyed a range of colours. Horn could also be clarified so as to be almost translucent. This gives it the attractive colour of honey, and is a feature of many combs of the period. It could also be carved into ornamental shapes as in the example here.
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Steer horn hair comb Victorian Spanish style hair ornament