Wow, the celluloid backs depict some of the finest figural scenes that I have had the pleasure of seeing. The hair brush has a beautiful woman playing her harp-like musical instrument and, as you will see in the close-up, she is a stunning woman. She plays while her mistress performs a tambourine dance for her guests, which is illustrated on the hand mirror. Both the mirror and the brush have excellent color tones, without fading or loss of color. The celluloid in in very good condition, excellent on the brush, save for a hard to see tiny rub. The celluloid on the hand mirror is very good, save for two flaws, one being some light discoloration at the very far edge to the left, where the staircase it. This is caused from moisture that gets under the celluloid and is generally a common occurrence, this can be avoided by keeping the pieces dry. This area blends itself well with the scenery and is not intrusive. The hand mirror also has a few very small craze lines at the outer edge where the oriental rug is. I had to tip the mirror to the light to find this and use a magnifying glass to really see them. These tight craze lines are not lifting or peeling, nor are they discolored but if you cannot forgive these small flaws, do not consider this rare set any further.
As you can
see, the brass framing and handles are of the finest design. I have never seen
such elaborate rims as those on this set. They are not only highly decorative
but they are scalloped as well. The handles are deeply embossed with an Art
Nouveau floral theme. I have cleaned and polished the metal to a radiant look of
gold gilt, they are spectacular. I have found only one moderately sized dent on
these pieces, on the outside rim of the hand mirror, near where the handle
attaches, not overly
noticeable but I must mention it for accuracy. The original beveled mirror is
clear but has some small speckling and early signs of age. I do not feel it is
important enough to replace the mirror as it's always great to have a usable
original. The natural bristles on the brush are in rather nice condition
but these antique hair brushes are for decorative use only, not like the hand
mirrors that can be used daily. The hand mirror measures 9¼ in length and has a
5 inch viewing surface, the hair brush is proportionately a little smaller. If
you are familiar with celluloid, then you know how rare these vanity mirror and
brush sets are and to find a set that has the character and quality that this
set has, is even more unusual. If you can overlook the small flaws on this set,
please consider adding it to your antique celluloid collection or simply love it
for what it is, uncommon and exquisite.
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