A pretty late Victorian or Edwardian back comb with rhinestone trim
CONDITION: good vintage condition with acceptable wear
SIZE: 3 ins h x 4¼ ins w (7.5 x 10.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: steer horn, mental, rhinestones
Here is a handsome steer horn back comb dating from the late Victorian or possibly Edwardian period. These combs were popular around the turn of the 20th century so it is not possible to ascribe them to an exact reign.
The steer horn has been partly clarified to render it translucent and then dyed a deep amber colour. The top of the heading is formed into a gently undulating line topped off with a metal border which is set with clear rhinestones.
This is a good wearable hair accessory which could equally be worn by a re-enactor or with a modern up do to add a touch of glamour. The final picture is taken from contemporary fashion illustrations and shows the hair accessories and hair dressing of the period.
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 or heading finished off with some kind of decorative edge or border. Often this incorporates decorative metal plaques set with faceted stones.
At the turn of the 20th century the hair was worn in a distinctive puffed out style which has become familiar from the drawings of Charles Dana Gibson. This is also known as a Pompadour style, and often incorporated the use of underlying pads and false hair. It was supported at the back of the head and sometimes at the sides as well by wide hair combs, which might be as plain or as fancy as the wearer desired. These combs also helped to support the huge hats of the late Victorian and Edwardian period.
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Late Victorian hair comb rhinestone horn hair ornament