Monthly Archives: June 2010

Citrine Tiara Comb

The French put many dressings on these large brass tiara combs. I have one with opals. Sometimes the tines are bent so the top can be worn as a tiara. Other times, the comb is in its original formation.

This one, c. 1830, has French import marks and two rows of citrines in graduating sizes. The stones are clean, translucent, and well matched in color. The first row of stones is supported by a bridge of brass leaves separated by balls, which attaches to the comb with a floral applique. Its estimated worth is between 3000 and 4000 GBP.

Chinese Hair Ornaments

China’s Jiangsu Province now has a comb museum. Displaying 300 ancient combs, the museum is located in Changzhou.

The combs of Changzhou fall into two categories: Shue and Bi. Shue combs are made of wood and are practical items with which to comb hair. The Bi is fine-toothed and used to clean the hair of debris. Both combs were made into an art form and were given as gifts of tribute at the Imperial Court.

To celebrate the opening of this museum, I thought I’d do a post on Chinese combs and hair sticks. This is a Changzhou Bi comb. Made of ivory and brass, the artist painted a Chinese scene with perspective and signed the piece.

These are two Chinese hair sticks from the Qing Dynasty (1945-present):

And this is a bridal hair ornament from Kazakstan, an autonomous region of China.

Some Lovely Combs on Ebay

On Ebay, there are some really nice Japanese sets and stand-alone kushis from the Edo, Meiji, and Taisho eras. Edo’s shape is square, Meiji is round but made of natural materials, and Taisho is round and gets into bold vivid, color. These pieces are in excellent condition. The only problem is the price. I’m not paying $900 for a kushi. Next Life. But enjoy!

Swedish Royal Wedding

On June 19, 2010, Crown Princess Victoria married her personal trainer, Daniel Westling. She wore the same cameo tiara, her mother wore to her own wedding on the same day in 1976. Cameos adorn the center of a gold and pearl frame. Greek mythological characters Cupid and Psyche grace the center cameo.

Here is her mother Queen Sylvia smiling with true happiness, and of course a drop-dead diamond tiara worn with an pink-topaz necklace, earrings, and pin.

Here, diamond laurel-leaf tiaraed Crown Princess Mathilde of Belgium speaks to diamond floral tiaraed Princess Letizia of Spain.

This is a lovely picture of Queen Margaret II of Denmark. It takes tremendous style to pull off a green dress like that, but she does it magnificently. Her pearl and diamond parure does not hurt.

Hair in Stone

The Greeks did it. Rodin did it. All sculptors made hair out of clay. This particular piece is by Amadeo Modigliani (1884-1920), who signed it and pointed out that in the rear of the sculpture, there was limestone. It is 25 1/4 inches high and was made c. 1910. The lady is even wearing a tiara to hold back her hair, parted in the middle. In Christie’s “Art Impressionniste et Moderne” sale this June in Paris, its estimated value is $4,935,457 – $7,403,185.

Some combs I like

This late-Edo tortoiseshell comb is held in an open silver frame with a silver mount Fuji behind gold and silver birds. The fruit on the tree are pearls. A similar decoration graces the matching kogai stick. It comes in its original box and is selling for $1400 on Trocadero.

I also liked this carved gilt lacquer comb inlaid with mother of pearl flowers and decorated with flying cranes. With matching kogai stick, the set is signed Sho Rin. It is selling for $1200 on Trocadero.

However,I just bought my second Chinese export comb for the Victorian market, c. 1890, because it had a bird on it, and I don’t have a birdie comb. ;-) The price was $355 on ebay.