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Antique Haircombs
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Late Victorian Faux Tortoise Comb

Ref: AN-0208-002

This handsome mantilla style hair comb is made from faux tortoiseshell celluloid and dated from approximately 1890 – 1910.

It has a pretty pierced openwork design based upon palm like motifs with panels of scrolled openwork. Is has an attractive scalloped profile.

By the late 19th century genuine tortoiseshell had become an expensive luxury material and was widely imitated by celluloid faux tortoise effects.

Size: 6 x 4 ins (approx 15 x 10 cms) 

£35.00

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Late Victorian Faux Tortoiseshell Comb

Ref: AN-0208-008

This handsome late Victorian hair comb is of the type popularly called a mantilla comb, because it resembles the ornaments which are worn by Spanish ladies in their native dress.

Such combs became very popular from the 1870s with the opening of the opera Carmen. They remained in fashion well into the 20th century. This one has an openwork design with solid panels alternative with those featuring open scrollwork.

By the late 19th century genuine tortoiseshell had become an expensive luxury material and was widely imitated by celluloid faux tortoise effects. Picture 6 is from a contemporary photograph and show how large mantilla combs like this were worn standing proud of the head.

Size: 5 ¼ x 3 ½ ins (approx 13 x 9 cms) 

£35.00

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Victorian Dyed Horn and Faceted French Mourning Comb

Ref: AN-1401-002

An elaborate mid Victorian mantilla style mourning hair comb with French jet balls dating from the period 1870s - 1900

This comb may have been worn for mourning, which was an important social custom in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. It is made of black dyed horn with a high circular heading having a pierced radiating design. The most striking feature is the balls of faceted French Jet which adorn the outer rim of the heading.

Mourning etiquette forbade any personal ornaments save those from dull dark colours. The material of choice was Whitby jet, but French jet, dyed horn and black celluloid were also widely used.

This manner of wearing the decorative comb is shown in picture 8. This is taken from a contemporary photograph and shows a young widow in the dress of the 1880s. She is wearing a high topped comb and an elaborate necklace of jet links. Picture 9 is taken from a Victorian catalogue illustrating mourning jewellery made in French Jet.

Size: 5 ins h x 3½ ins w (13 x 9 cms) 

£90.00

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