A large and striking Art Deco amber hair comb with figural peacock design
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 7 ins h x 5½ ins w (18 x 14 cm) decorative part 3 ins h (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1920s
Here is a large and striking hair comb which shows some characteristics of both Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
It is made in celluloid which is amber coloured at the top of the heading and shades down to a warm brown at the base of the tines. The asymmetrical design depicts a figural bird which appears to be a very much stylised peacock. Peacocks were much beloved by the Art Nouveau jewellers on account of their exotic plumage.
In the symbolism of animals some are meant as inspirations, but others serve well as warnings. The peacock is among these. Colourful, graceful, and prideful, it is beauty at its finest. Its plumes are like the robes of royalty, and its head is crowned like a monarch. But it can also denote vanity and an over concentration on the material aspects of life as opposed to the spiritual.
The years 1900-20 were a period of transitional between two major stylistic movements – Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The Art Nouveau influence is indicated by complex intertwined lines, often combined with scrollwork, naturalistic motifs like flora, fauna or winged insects, and the use of designs were are often asymmetrical. Art Deco borrowed extensively from Art Nouveau in its highly stylised and graceful designs. However Deco took the free-flowing curves and naturalistic motifs and replaced them with more geometric and symmetrical themes which began to emerge about 1910. Naturalism is replaced by stylisation and formalism. Although elements like interlaced lines and scrollwork persist in the design of this lovely combs there is a stiffness and artificiality about the form of the general design which is leading inexorably towards the formalised geometry of Art Deco.
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Large Art Deco hair comb with ornate peacock design hair accessory