An unusual mantilla style hair comb in French ivory with floral motifs in French jet.
MATERIAL: The ornament is made from an early celluloid substance, popularly known as French ivory, because it was invented to substitute for the much more expensive elephant ivory which was becoming rare and expensive by the early 20th century.
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 7½ ins h x 4½ ins w (approx 19 x 11 cms)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900 - 1920
This lovely French ivory mantilla style hair accessory shows the characteristics of the transitional period which fell between two major art movements, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
It has an asymmetric design of flowers whose petals are encrusted with faceted rhinestones of French jet. At the centre of each flower are amber coloured rhinestones.
These mantilla style combs were tremendously popular for dress up and fancy parties at this period. The final illustration shows a contemporary postcard with a lady in Spanish costume and mantilla veil.
Art Deco took the free-flowing curves and naturalistic motifs of Art Nouveau and replaced them with more geometric and symmetrical themes which began to emerge about 1910. Although the asymmetric motif is flowers is typical of Art Nouveau. There is a stiffness and artificiality about the form of the general design which is leading inexorably from the curvilinear forms towards the formalised symmetry of Art Deco.
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