Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

A popular hair accessory in the 1870s and 1880s, this lady is wearing a peigneta. Some will call it a comb, which it is, but the Spanish name is peigneta. If used with a lace veil, it becomes a mantilla. However, in America, these combs were wildly popular as a fashion accessory and were available in carved tortoise shell, smaller ones in mother of pearl, and early versions of plastic.

This photograph has no back mark, so we can’t even tell you who the photographer was or where the image was made. This is unusual by the 1880s, as the card back mark was used as advertising and bragging space.

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