A large and handsome celluloid faux tortoiseshell hair comb in the Spanish style
CONDITION: good vintage condition with acceptable wear
SIZE: 8½ ins h x 7 ins w (22 x 18 cm) decorative part 5 ins (13 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1920s
Here is a large and handsome Spanish mantilla style headpiece which probably dates from the early 20th century. It is made from nicely marked celluloid faux tortoiseshell and is quite light in weight. This would make it suitable for wear in Spanish style dance.
This type of ornament is often known as Spanish or mantilla comb because it resembles a smaller version of the traditional large ornaments worn by Spanish ladies with their native dress. Any comb which has a high upstanding heading or top which stands proud of the top of the head is often called a mantilla comb. Such combs are worn placed high on the head in order to allow the beauty of their ornamental cresting to be admired.
Such combs became extremely fashionable in Britain and America during the early 20th century. They were worn in a characteristic manner, being placed in the side or back of the hairdressing at an acute angle, and in such a way that the tall heading stood up proud. This enabled the often beautiful openwork decoration or the decorative effect which had been applied to the material, to be viewed from all angles, and for the details to be seen effectively outlined against the light.
The final picture is taken from a collection of contemporary photographs which illustrates how the combs were worn in Spain when draped with a lace mantilla veil.
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Large Art Deco hair comb Spanish mantilla style hair ornament