Edwardian amber celluloid back comb with gilded Art Nouveau styling
CONDITION: good vintage condition with accepted wear
SIZE: 3 ins h x 4½ ins w (7.5 x 11 cm) decorative part 1¼ ins h 3 cm
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: celluloid, gilding, rhinestones
Here is a beautiful Art Nouveau style hair comb dating from the years around the turn of the 20th century. It is made in amber celluloid in the form of a back comb. The flowing design of leaves and flowers is applied in gilding over etched designs and is further enhanced with rhinestones.
This is an example of the line of ornaments made with Art Nouveau motifs for the more popular end of the market. The first Art Nouveau jewels were far too expensive for ordinary people. However manufacturers soon produced a range in blonde celluloid and faux tortoiseshell effects embellished with rhinestones and gilding and suited to more popular taste.
A back comb is a type of ornament which is specially designed to be worn at the rear of the head. Such ornaments are usually deeply curved to fit the back of the skull, which makes them unsuitable for wearing anywhere else. Typically they are broader than they are high, and have a top of heading finished off with some kind of decorative edge or border. Often this incorporates decorative metal plaques set with faceted stones.
Combs such as there reached the apex of their popularity in the years around the turn of the 20th century. They were used to prop up the puffed out Gibson Girl hair dressing and also to support the large hats of the day.
The final picture shows a collection of similar hair accessories from this period taken from contemporary sources, and illustrated the hair styles with which they were worn.
FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING ON THIS ITEM, Ask me about my convenient Layaway plan on selected items
Art Nouveau hair comb amber celluloid with gilding hair accessory