China: Ancient Combs of the World, by Kajetan Fiedorowicz

When the artist inside rules you, you climb mountains. Society judges you on your idiosyncrasies alone, unless you can communicate why you devoted your life to a love of something. With Kajetan Fiedorowicz, this love was for combs. I believe his artistic eye; his instincts that allow him to understand genius, in whatever condition it comes, from where ever it comes; his taste and class; and his passion for scholarship has made him one of the greatest comb collectors in the world. Hair combs are blessed because he fell in love with them.

He wanted his collection to be a comb museum, but tragedy and unimaginable heartbreak struck. Some scorned him. They tried to beat him. That’s when you know who your friends are. Others never wavered. “Never surrender,” he always said to me.

Today that strength of character triumphed. The KF Comb Research Project announced the prototype publication of “China: Ancient Combs of the World, Vol. IV.”

He said, “Very important for this vol. IV on ancient Chinese combs was to get it proof read and checked by someone educated and competent with this particular and very narrowly specialised subject matter. I was fortunate to get through to the best person, Miss Jing Yang, the senior researched in Palace Museum in Beijing,

“who is also an author of the best selling book on a history of Chinese combs and hair ornaments, pictured below.”

“It has been my honour and a privilege to receive a favourable opinion from such a prominent researcher. And her signature in my book prototype… how epic :) is that.”

“I also thank Wu Yi Shiuan for making this possible.” (Editors note: Wu Yi Shiuan is the founder and head of the Chinese Hairpin Museum)

Kajetan continues, “I’m pleased to report major progress with my books on ancient and ethnic combs of the world. As some of you may know, I’m working on a series of 5 volumes presenting (in pictures) the results of my long time research and collecting efforts, divided by cultural regions. The first test copies were printed and I’m in a process of fixing unavoidable errors.”

Perfect English grammar eludes us all, even those of us who think in English. However, you rarely find an uncompromising purist you can trust to identify every single piece correctly. That takes 30 years to do, and he’s done it. Only love could have produced the photographs in this book.

Kajetan, you changed my life with that Māori comb auction on E-bay. I wrote about you before knowing you existed, and amused you in the process. Then I met you, and you taught me how to see. If you can do this, I can overcome my life’s mountains, too. Thank you for these books. Thank you for your life.

The Taj of Azerbaijan

By Aynur Mammadova, assistant to Dr. Shirin Melikova, Director of the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum Crown of the Bride, the Taj was an uncommon and precious headdress in the Western Caucasus regions. In ancient times, along with other jewelry that formed the basis of a wedding dress, the Taj took precedence among bridal gifts and was…Continue Reading

Sikhs and Sikh Combs

An important comb type, little publicised and infrequently encountered, is a notable feature of the orthodox Sikh community whose peoples, now dispersed throughout the world, originated mainly from the Punjab State of north-west India, bordering on Pakistan. This is a territory through which the 5 tributaries of the river Indus flow – the word Punjab…Continue Reading

Creative Museum: From the Ottomans to the Qajars

The boundaries of the Ottoman and Persian Empires often overlapped over the course of history Their art has been enriched by many outside influences such as Central Asian, Indian, and even Chinese. Qajar is a Turkish word meaning people who walk quickly. Qajars were a Turkish-speaking minority with pastoral and nomadic lives based in Northern…Continue Reading

Sri Lankan Hair Pins — Formerly Ceylonese and Singalese

The hairpins known as Kondakoora emanate from Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon. Often erroneously described as Mughal or Turkish turban pins, they were traditional to the low-country regions of southern Sri Lanka, as opposed to the hills of the Kandy region, where they were worn by wealthy women to secure the chignon. Positioned horizontally through the…Continue Reading

Creative Museum: Stones, Leaves, Scissors

The Creative Museum just played a significant part in another exhibition at the Montelimar Miniature Museum. STONES, LEAVES, SCISSORS is about hair ornaments made in three different ways. Whether an artist looks at a piece of jade and carves a crown, looks at a piece of silver and cuts leaves into an intricate pattern, or takes…Continue Reading

Book Review: Berber Women of Morocco

Like a nomad gazing at the night sky, a ceiling of stars covered the main room of the 2014 exhibition, Berber Women of Morocco, at the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves St. Laurent in Paris. Each tribe’s jewelry and costume was sumptuously presented. The accompanying book, with pages of orange and indigo-blue, is a tribute…Continue Reading