A pretty tortoiseshell hair comb with pierced silver mounting
CONDITION: good vintage condition with accepted wear
SIZE: 5 ins h x 2¼ ins w (13 x 6 cm) decorative part 2 ins h (5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: tortoiseshell, silver
This beautiful comb is an excellent example of the smaller and daintier hair accessories which were worn at the end of the Victorian period.
The comb mount with its two prongs is made from a dark brown variety of celluloid faux tortoiseshell. The wedge shaped heading has a gently scalloped top profile and is overlaid with a panel of brite cut silver. This has been worked into a complex openwork design of scroll work.
The collage picture shows a selection of illustrations from a contemporary fashion plate with similar hair accessories and the hair styles with which they were worn.
Fashions in hairdressing changed in the last ten tears of the 19th century. The styles were simpler and a softer, fluffier appearance was fashionable. From the 1900s the Gibson Girl coiffure was popular, whereby the hair was fluffed out over pads with wisps often escaping at the back and sides.
Along with these softer and more feminine coiffures hair accessories grew smaller, lighter and more delicate. Airy openwork designs, such as those of filigree were popular. Where ornamental stones are used they tend to be enclosed in an openwork or filigree like setting.
Small cut out silver combs were in their heyday at this period. The most usual method of adornment was brite-cut, a type of decorative engraving used on metal objects, especially those made of silver. The decorative designs are created by making a series of short cuts into the metal, using a polished engraving tool that causes the exposed surfaces to reflect light and give an impression of brightness.
This item is over 100 years old and therefore predates the Endangered Species legislation. If this item includes any CITES Appendix I materials documentation and certificates required by law for commercial sale, import or export, have been obtained for this item and will be included with it at shipment.
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Late Victorian hair comb tortoiseshell sterling silver hair ornament
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