I’m in the mood for the unusual today, so I thought I’d showcase a few combs that are flamboyant variations of the ones we usually see.

These silver and gold kanzashi from the Meiji era are over-the-top attachments to silver pins. They have 16-petal chrysanthemums, leaves, gold branches, and fringe. They were sold on Trocadero for a ridiculous price because I know this dealer. ;-) I didn’t buy them, though. :-(

This tortoiseshell comb boasts 3 carved shell cameos, one of Athena and two of Flora. It sold for $1295 on Ruby Lane, even with two slightly broken tines and a seperation in the  scrolled ornamentation at the top. The dealer thought it was French, 1860. I am not sure. With  the craze surrounding archeological discoveries that took over Victorian England, it might be English. I’m undecided, but I love it.

This one I am buying. It’s a Victorian Algerian, c. 1870. As aluminum was discovered in 1827, when this was made, the metal was more valuable than gold. Alas, today, the materials in this comb are worth about 35 cents, but I had never seen one like it, and I had to have it. :-) The leaves are acanthus leaves, after Cesar’s headpiece. The chains are silver, and the beads are turquoise-colored glass. I guess one wore this with a toga-like white gown.

This Edo tortoiseshell comb with a silver- and gold-plated copper frame, decorated with coral beads, sold on ebay for $1000 on Oct 15.

I thought this celluloid comb had humor and originality. It is English, c. 1890, and sold on ebay as part of a 7-piece lot.

And last, becuase I must, a flamboyant 19th-century tiara of 18K gold with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, amethysts, garnets, and topaz. I loved all the colors. :-) It is available for sale at a jewelry store on Madison Ave. in Manhattan, which was featured in a NOVA special on diamonds, as having one piece of the French crown jewels.


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