Oriental Carving

The first two items for today are Chinese hair pins. The first is from my private collection and had been carved from one piece of tortoiseshell, the blonde part representing a bird. I believe the piece to be dated c. 1890.

The second hair pin is coral, Tang Dynasty (618-907), and carved in the form of a phoenix.

Our third item is an Indian ivory comb, made in Sri Lanka in the 18th Century. The woman is dancing to the music of panava instruments, perhaps drums and a flute, with parrots surrounding her. In Indian dancing, each pose conveys an emotional state during storytelling. Although the ivory is discolored, the carving is magnificent. These were luxury combs, which would be included in dowries. Both the phoenix Chinese hair pin and this Indian comb reside in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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