Spanish women paid great attention to styling their hair.

Throughout Spain they coiled their hair into a chignon at the back of the head, and stuck a high comb into the top. In Valencia the women had a particularly elaborate style. They added a bun of hair at either side of the head, above the ears, with a smaller comb in the top which matched the large back comb. Round the sides of the bun they inserted small double-pronged hair pins, with decorative heads, to keep it in place. The chignon at the back of the head was held in place by a pair of long hair pins, one of which slid inside the other, so that they looked like a double-ended pin. These hair pins were worn horizontally across the back of the head, with a decorative top at each end sticking out at right angles to the stem, and showing at the side of the face. This hairpin is half of one such double-ended pair.

The import of emeralds from South America from the late 16th century onwards made green the most fashionable colour in jewellery throughout Spain. This was particularly so in Valencia in the 19th century. Today, many Valencian women still wear traditional costume and jewellery for the ‘Fallas’ celebrations each spring, although green is no longer the main colour.

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  • Title: Hair pin (1)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1865/1870
  • Location: Valencia
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 15.0 cm, Diameter: 2.67 cm
  • Medium: Silver-gilt set with emerald green pastes

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