Mid Victorian tiara style hair comb with classic hinged repousee heading
CONDITION: good vintage condition with accepted wear
SIZE: 3½ ins h x 3½ ins w (9 x 9 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1850s – 1880s
MATERIALS: steer horn, metal
Here we have a very fine tiara style hair comb dating from the mid Victorian period of about 1860s – 1880s.
The comb mount is made from the usual steer horn which has been stained to resemble mottled tortoiseshell. To this is attached a narrow crescent shaped heading of polished brass which is decorated with large repousee motifs.
The heading is attached to the horn comb mount by a flexible brass hinge which allows it to be adjusted to a number of different positions, as seen in the images. 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.
Such combs are often called tiara combs because the hinged mount gave them a considerable degree of flexibility. They could therefore be worn either in the back of the dressing, below or within the chignon, or tiara style above the forehead. In this latter position the tines would be concealed beneath the hair, so that the ornamental heading functioned as a mini tiara. The decorative metal heading is wide and curved and gives the effect of a formal tiara when worn on top of the head.
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Classic Victorian hinged hair comb gilded repousee brass hair accessory