After the big September 23rd auction, there have been three French combs, c.1790 – 1850, which went for varying prices. The one that sold for $315 was a steal because the photograph did not show its complexity, nor my instinct that there were pearls dangling from the gilt circles decorated with lapis flowers. Here is the record of what sold, when, and for how much:
Gorgeous combs! I am curious about how they were worn though. Were they all worn as backcombs a la Josephine in David’s coronation painting? I keep imagining that they might be worn tiara-style facing forwards and there are lots of Regency Era paintings of pretty ladies wearing diadems but the direction of the tines in all of these combs and some of the others I have seen seem to preclude this. Any insight?
If the tines of the brass comb were bent inwards, they were worn as tiaras in the front. If the tines on the brass comb were as shown, they were worn as back combs, as in the coronation painting. :-)
They can be worn both style!
The ornate gallery is engaged to the comb and held with a kind of pin on the side.
You can remove the pin, pull lightly on the upper part an return it, then when replaced put again the pin to secure it! You get a comb and a tiara all in one!
I collected these for years, and got separate pieces which I could NEVER marry…
Comb part was custom made for each gallery ornate part!