Monthly Archives: March 2010

Research is fun

Recently I bought this comb on ebay.

But what was it? I had a similar barrette from the English company who invented silver plate, but was this from the same company? Was it English? I set out on a research-finding tour. Surprise or surprises, the marks on the comb indicated that it was made in the Netherlands for export in 1925. The first picture tells us it’s Dutch. The second picture matches a Q to 1925.

Isn’t research fun? :-)

Two Tiaras

This agate, cameo, and gold tiara is part of a complete parure, c. 1840. The tiara has a graduated series of five pinkish brown and brownish gray agate cameos, each sculpted in high relief. They depict profiles of various figures. Cameos with different colored accessories are the most valued. These have pinkish brown agate accessories, including feathers, jewelry and wreaths. They reside within a sculpted gold scroll.

Are we really supposed to resist this?

Edwardian, pearl and diamond tiara, c. 1900.

Ann Getty’s Tiara

This is an important Cartier piece because its design is unique. Made in the 1930s, two posies of leaves, ribbons, and detachable flower heads are worn at each temple. The tiara is connected by a crescent of stones. On top is a panache motif of flowers, ribbons and scrolls. The old European-cut diamonds weigh approximately 175.00 carats. Cartier signed it and made it in London. Its estimated value is $250,000.

Cartier and White Jade

This tortoise comb from Cartier was made c. 1920. The hinged tiara is a carved coral segment framed in pearls, decorated with 1.15 carats of old European-cut diamonds. It is signed Cartier, Paris, and numbered 0000 and 0288 (maker’s marks). It also has French Assay marks, with an estimated value is $10,000 to $15,000.

This Chinese white-jade comb comes from the Tang Dynasty (618–907). The authenticity of its age can be verified because it is listed in “Jades in the Hei-Chi Collection,” Beijing, 2006, p. 135. Its estimated value is $9000.

This comb from the Tlingit tribe of the Pacific Northwest depicts the head, torso and forelegs of a bear. Human faces are carved within the bear’s ears, and a bear cub’s face peaks out between them. There is symmetry between the bear’s teeth, claws, and the comb’s tines. The reverse side features two human feet with cross-hatching on the soles; intriguingly the right foot has six toes. The decorative surround framing the feet may well represent a stylized bear’s den.

Historians are not sure if these combs were used by women or shamans. Others suggest weavers to carded mountain goat wool with them. Whatever the application, this classic evocative carving was old when it was collected in 1867-68, and the comb is attributed to the year 1772. It sold for $37,600.

Some Lovely Things

First up today is a 19th Century Portuguese tiara made of gold metal, sapphires, and baroque pearls, c. 1840. It sold for $1100.

We continue with a French blonde tortoiseshell back comb, c. 1890. The center ornament is a blue and white cameo of angels posing as the three muses. It is encased with diamonds. On each side are pearls separated by two gold leaves with a diamond in the center, and side blue enamel plaques with diamond roses. It sold for $3200.

Our last comb is by George Fouquet. The scrolled top of this blonde tortoiseshell comb is bordered with diamonds, and graced with opal leaves on both sides. Calibré-cut amethysts, three diamonds and a gold leaf reside in the middle. The piece is signed G.Fouquet and sold for $11,176.