A pretty French Ivory hair comb further embellished with gliding and rhinestones.
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 6½ x 5½ ins (approx 16.5 x 14 cms)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900 – 1920s
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.
This is a modified version of the perennial fan shaped Spanish style comb shaped like an unfurled fan. It is made from French ivory and has an attractive scalloped profile.
It is decorated with amber rhinestones and panels of openwork scrolls. This is a variation of a popular decorative motif of the period whereby a series of spoke like lines radiate outwards from the base of the heading. Here the design shows some transitional influence in the use of large chubby scrolls.
These Spanish style combs 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 to be viewed from all angles and for the details to be seen effectively outlined against the light.
This manner of wearing the decorative comb is shown in the accompanying photographs on the mannequin and in the last picture. This is taken from a contemporary postcard dated 1923 and shows a sitter with a Spanish style hair comb of similar design.
You can read more about hair accessories in my articles. They are available as a PDF document from my document archive by clicking the "Favourite Links" tab on the left of this page.
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