A handsome matched pair of late Victorian hair combs in Arts and Crafts style
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 4¼ ins h x 1¼ ins w (10.5 x 3 cm) decorative part 1¼ ins h (3 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1880s – 1890s
MATERIALS: faux tortoiseshell, metal, moonstones, garnets
Here is a very beautiful matched pair of hair combs made in the distinctive Arts and Crafts style. They probably date from the late 19th century when ornaments of this type were at their highest fashion.
The foundation of these two pronged ornaments is made from faux tortoiseshell. Affixed to the heading is a mounting of polished brass which is arranged spiral fashion. However the designs are not identical and it is obvious that they were hand made. Being a matched pair the designs on the two combs are a mirror image of one another. Set in the centre of the spiral is a faux moonstone cabochon oval in shape. Small faux garnet cabochons, this time spherical, are placed upon the curving arcs of the spiral.
The Arts and Crafts movement was an attempt to reject the mechanical and vulgar commercialism which affected the applied arts in the later half of the 19th century. Arts and Crafts practitioners attempted to return to the Medieval ideal whereby an item was designed and made by the same craftsperson, using traditional techniques and hand working. Its main elements, whether in the UK or the USA were a concentration upon individual design and hand workmanship and a rejection of the mechanical and mass production.
Jewellery made in this style is often based upon Celtic or Medieval looking forms, using silver rather than gold. It utilised a combination of less expensive materials, and where gemstones are utilised, cabochon rather than faceted forms are preferred.
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Matched pair Victorian hair combs moonstone garnet hair accessories