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Antique Haircombs
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Auguste Bonaz
Auguste Bonaz
FruitArt Deco Collection
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Faux Tortoiseshell Filigree Comb

Ref: DE-1208-012

This very large and beautiful celluloid faux tortoiseshell lacy hair comb is an interesting example of a so-called fluted heading. In these combs the top is not flat or gently curved as in conventional examples. Rather the corners appear to have been pulled out like wings while the celluloid was still pliable.

A rear view shows that the heading also has a fluted profile, with the top edge curved slightly forward.

The final picture shows an engraved fashion plate from a British magazine dated 1923. The sitter has an extremely large hair comb worn at an asymmetric angle.

Size: 6 ½ x 7 ¼ ins (approx 16.5 x 19 cms)


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Large Fluted Celluloid Overlay Hair Comb

Ref: DE-0109-010

This large sized hair comb is made by an interesting manufacturing technique called celluloid overlay. This is where the item is made in two separate castings of contrasting colours. Here for example a transparent base coat has been cast with a shiny upper shell which shows along the edges of the swirled design and the tips of the tines.

The design is a variation of the iconic spokes or sunray motif whereby lines radiate outwards from the base of the heading like the leaves of a fan.

Picture 9 is taken from a contemporary French fashion magazine called EROS and shows a model wearing a similar oversized hair comb at a jaunty angle.

Size: 6¼ x 7 ins; (approx 16 x 18 cms)


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Single Pronged Scroll Design Comb

Ref: AD-1201-024

Single-pronged hairs ornaments like this have a long history, and were used throughout the nineteenth century at various periods. This one probably dates from the decade 1895-1905, when the hair was drawn high onto the head in a topknot or up-do. This high chignon was often pierced by small combs, or single pronged ornaments with fancy headings of various kinds. Arrows, swords and daggers were very popular.

This hairpin is made of varied-coloured celluloid with an asymmetric treatment and a scroll design in the wedge shaped heading. The presence of two small holes in the shaft indicates that this could also have been sewn to fabric for use as a hat ornament.

The final two pictures are taken from contemporary photographs of the 1890s and show sitters with small single pronged accessories thrust into the high topknot in the aforementioned manner.

Size: 8¼ ins h x 2 ins w (approx 22 x 5 cms)


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