An unusual back comb dating from the mid 20th century
CONDITION: good vintage condition with accepted wear
SIZE: 3 ins h x 4 ins w (7.5 x 10 cm) decorative part 1½ ins h (4 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: mid 20th century
MATERIALS: metal, glass stones, metal
Here is a very dramatic mid century hair comb of the type which was designed to be worn on the back of the head, and create an impression!
The comb base is made from celluloid faux tortoiseshell and is intended to wrap around the back of the head. Three large faceted blue glass stones arise from the center back, each encircled by a halo or polished metal.
One of the signature “looks” of the mid 20th century was a style which is called Hollywood Regency in the USA, and which was pure glamour and glitz. It favoured glittering rhinestones, often combined with coloured stones and materials, faux pearls and elaborate gold or silver tone settings.
Some of the most beautiful and high quality jewellery and hair ornaments in this style were produced in the USA. We can say that the influence of Hollywood and the great screen goddesses of the 1940s and 1950s were of great significance in promoting this larger than life look.
Early in the decade, it was designed to mimic the “real thing” with, at times, a slight exaggeration. The major difference, of course, was that the lovely ornaments were not made of gold or platinum or set with precious gemstones. They were made of base metals that were gold-plated or rhodium-plated and set with synthetic stones or glass imitations from Austria and Czechoslovakia.
The final picture shows a collection of hair accessories from this mid century period taken from contemporary sources, and illustrated the hair styles with which they were worn.
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Mid century hair comb with large blue faceted stones hair ornament