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 a stark geometric pattern that mimics Art Deco. The ideas don’t make sense.

However, 33 turquoise cabochons on 18K gold are surrounded by black enamel. Thirteen pear-shaped turquoise cabochons form the dangles. The comb was imported into France — I’m going to guess from China because of the tightly wired, stiff, slinky-like dangles. The jeweler dates it c. 1900. I might put 10 years more on it, and it is on sale for $8500. It has a Fellini-esque absurdity to it, and I still love it. The condition is immaculate.

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