May 7, 2014

Hair Comb History Highlight #1: Auguste Bonaz

Lets talk about one of my favorite accessories, the decorative hair comb! Hair combs are beautiful relics from the past that we have unfortunately left mostly to history. I feel about hair combs as I do about hats and hand fans, that it is too bad an accessory once deemed so essential has fallen completely out of use! Thank goodness costumers and vintage enthusiasts keep these treasures alive and preserved!

Today I want to talk about French comb and jewelry designer Auguste Bonaz. The region of Oyannox in France was the center of decorative comb production in the late Edwardian and early 1920's period. Bonaz was established in the mid-19th century by Cesar Bonaz who was later joined in the business by his son Auguste Bonaz. With the invention of new plastics like celluloid, Auguste Bonaz embraced the new material to the fullest and his designs showcase the material in such a magnificent way. Instead of just using celluloid to replicate tortoiseshell and horn, Bonaz's designs made use of the color options and malleability the new plastic had, appreciating it as a decorative medium of its own. The colorful and inventive combs of August Bonaz remain highly covetable today amongst collectors so I thought I would show you a few today!

Aren't these vintage advertisements great!
beautiful black comb with rhinestones
A unique and stunning design with faux pearls
A faux ivory comb featuring a gold crested dragon, I wouldn't mind having this one in my collection!

Bonaz making use of the sunning color possible with celluloid
This is my favorite of Bonaz's combs! The iridescence and highlights of color are just swoon-worthy for a comb collector!

All these combs, plus more information (and many more combs!) can be found at the excellent Creative Museum online!

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