A beautiful Art Nouveau Spanish style hair accessory with gilded floral design
CONDITION: good vintage condition with acceptable wear
SIZE: 8 ins h x 5 ins w (20 x 13 cm) decorative part 4 ins h (10 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s - 1900s
MATERIALS: celluloid faux tortoiseshell, gilding
This large and attractive comb with Art Nouveau styling probably dates from the late 1890s or early 1900s.
It is made from celluloid faux tortoiseshell with a wedge shaped heading having an openwork design. This incorporates naturalistic looking flowers which are further embellished with gilding.
The first Art Nouveau ornaments were hand made and carved from clarified horn. These were very expensive and beyond the means of working people. These were quickly followed by mass produced versions made in celluloid and intended for the popular market. These cheaper versions reproduced the typical motifs of the genre, but were produced by machine. Typically they were made in translucent amber or faux tortoiseshell effects with a swirling asymmetric design suggestive of organic forms. The better quality ornaments were hand tinted and finished, like our example here.
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. The final illustration shows similar hair ornaments in wear.
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.
FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING ON THIS ITEM, Ask me about my convenient Layaway plan on selected items
Late Victorian Spanish hair comb gilded faux tortoiseshell hair ornament
|Est. Sales Tax:||TBD|