Hair combs have been around for centuries and have been used in all parts of the world. The earliest hair combs were made of bone, ivory and wood. Eventually materials such as silver, tin and brass were also used.
Later in time, during the 19th century, tortoise shell and bone hair combs came into favor. Besides their inherent beauty, they were also easy materials to heat and could be bent into any desired shape.
Then, in the late 1860’s, a new material was discovered. The material was called Celluloid and was essentially one of the first man made plastics. This discovery changed the whole dynamic of the hair comb industry. Celluloid was cheaper and easier to use then horn, ivory or tortoise shell. It could also be made to look like any of the fore mentioned natural materials. A happy day indeed for the beleaguered turtle and elephant populations.
During the 1920’s and 30’s the celluloid hair comb experienced its golden age. Fanciful designs in faux ivory or tortoise were adorned with all manner of gem stones and rhinestones. These beautiful objects were the height of fashion and a few survive to this day thanks to the efforts of diligent collectors who have taken it upon themselves to care for these delicate objects.
Recently, I was lucky enough to purchase a partial collection of vintage hair combs. They date from the 1920’s and 30’s and are wonderful examples of the style and design of that period.
Here are some images…………..please enjoy viewing them and let me know what you think.
Make sure to click on the picture to view the enlargement.
Last weekend I took a trip down to Philadelphia to visit some friends and stop by the Antiques Center at 615 south 6th street. It’s always fun shopping there. Vintage clothing, vintage jewelry and a wide variety of collectibles abound.
I especially enjoy shopping at MOD GIRL. It’s the first booth you see as you enter the building. There’s Jill, seated behind her jewelry counters chock full of bakelite bracelets, rhinestones necklaces, marcasite brooches, sterling, copper, glitz and so much more. A staple in this center, as Jill says, she’s been there forever. And she has been there for a long time indeed filling her customer’s needs for fine vintage clothing and jewelry.
People come from New York, California and even a few Philadelphians stop by. Many New Yorkers now have second homes in Philadelphia finding it very cosmopolitan and much more affordable than the big apple.
This past summer Jack Nicholson was in town shooting scenes for a film by James L. Brooks and the director himself stopped by and bought two bakelite bracelets.
Searching through the clothing racks I spotted dresses of many different styles and periods. There were a lot of nice wearable dresses from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. I also found a good variety of classic formal numbers, along with a lot of fun kicky pieces. Coats, sweaters, scarfs, bags, shoes…….…it’s all there. I even noted some designer items as well. Pauline Trigere, Pucci, Adele Simpson, YSL, Schiaparelli, Valentino and many others. It’s definitely worth the trip. I know I’ll be back again soon.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Stella Pier Antiques Show in New York City. There were a myriad of beautiful booths displaying folk art, fine art, antiques, vintage clothing and vintage jewelry.
One of my favorite booths was that of Marcy Drexler aka – Little Shiny Objects. Marcy is a long time vintage jewelry dealer who consistently presents a gorgeous display of vintage Bakelite as well as an exciting assortment of costume jewelry.
I captured a few images that I thought you might enjoy.
Check out the incredible green and fuchsia necklace by Vendome and the staggering rows of carved and inlaid vintage Bakelite bracelets. I’ve been fascinated by Bakelite for many years and have always been attracted to the fun shapes and colors. I really think the appeal comes from the fact that it all looks like candy. Subconsciously, I probably want to taste every piece.
I should also mention Marcy’s collection of poodle purses, in the gallery above, which soon will be gracing the pages of Italian Vogue. Look for them at your local newsstand.
All in all a great booth filled with shiny vintage treasures.
If you’d like to get in touch with Marcy her contact information is –