Monthly Archives: April 2012

Rene Lalique and Calouste Gulbenkian

They were friends for 50 years. Perhaps that’s why Gulbenkian (right) obtained diplomatic immunity and became the Iranian ambassador to Pétain’s Vichy government in 1939. On October 30, 1939, 79-year-old René Lalique rushed to his factory in Wingen, Alcase. The … Continue reading

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Jen Cruse: The Art of Chinese Ivory Comb Carving

By Jen Cruse: When trade links with China were re-established in the 18th century, the earliest and largest markets were in the West. Chinese teas and silks were the prime commodities of trade with Europe and America and an increasing … Continue reading

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From the English, we know that different fittings can make an extraordinary piece of jewelry into a practical object. Consider multiple functions for a set of diamond brooches. I have always felt you can take a brooch to a jeweler … Continue reading

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Hemba Combs of the Congo

The Luba Empire was a pre-colonial Central African state, which was founded by King Kongolo Maniema, c. 1585. The Hemba people were incorporated because they started to migrate into Luba territory at the beginning of the Empire. In addition to … Continue reading

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Gold and Turquoise French Hair Comb

On first glance, this comb knocks me out. But upon further examination, it’s confusing. The hinged decoration with dangles on a tortoiseshell comb takes its inspiration from the Victorian Algerian style. However the turquoise cabochons and black enamel lines create … Continue reading

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Japanese Kushi Themes

In the Edo and Meiji eras, kushi became canvasses, on which artists could paint or carve cultural and religious symbols. Early Edo kushi had only one simple idea on a large comb-canvas. Late Edo kushi were still bigger than Meiji … Continue reading

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Japanese Tama Kanzashi Themes

Japanese women’s hairstyles became works of art during the Edo period (1603-1868). Lush ornamentation with kushi- and kogai-stick sets, accompanied by kanzashi followed. Only rulers, samurai clans, and other aristocratic families had mon, or crests to indicate their status. In … Continue reading

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Morrocan Taj, or Crown

This magnificent Moroccan wedding tiara is made up of three parts: two sides that meet in the middle and a piece that attaches on top. Made c. 1800, its openworked pyramid shape is richly decorated with emeralds and gemstones. It … Continue reading

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Miriam Slater and The Creative Museum: Two Japanese Combs

Two of our authors have recently bought beautiful Japanese combs. Miriam Slater bought this late Edo lacquer comb with a geometric petal-like background underneath painted chrysanthemums, dahlias, peonies, and hearts, all done in gold maki-e. The Creative Museum added this … Continue reading

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