Sometimes it's so easy to get lost in all the pretty vintage dresses and forget about the smaller, pretty accessories. I don't mean hats and shoes. Those hold their own in the collector's attention span. As do purses and handbags - my goodness, collectors do love those. And certainly vintage jewelry has had it's own huge and devoted following for many years.
No, what I have in mind today are hair combs and ladies fans. I think these fly under the current radar a bit because we don't wear or use anything similar today, at least not with any frequency. Folding fans today are relegated to inexpensive tourist mementos and costume pieces, if that, and hair combs are either purely utilitarian or bridal. Plus most modern hairstyles don't need them.
Yet in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, these two accessories were every day options. A fan was a necessity in pre air-conditioned times, and just like purses, a selection was needed to be carried with day and evening fashion. Hair combs were both decorative and functional in the ornate hairstyles of the day. And again, while a lady wouldn't have a different comb to go with every ensemble, she would have needed both every day styles, perhaps in a plain tortoiseshell or celluloid, and evening styles with pastes or gems.
Here are 2 combs, one quite early, the other a large mantilla style, and a lovely fan, all from pastperfectvintage.com.
Antique Early 19th Century 1810s - 30s Large Dyed Horn Comb
Victorian Celluloid French Ivory Mantilla Comb
1900s Late Victorian Hand Painted & Embroidered Silk and Ivory Fan