Author Archives: BarbaraAnne

China: Ancient Combs of the World, by Kajetan Fiedorowicz

When the artist inside rules you, you climb mountains. Society judges you on your idiosyncrasies alone, unless you can communicate why you devoted your life to a love of something. With Kajetan Fiedorowicz, this love was for combs. I believe his artistic eye; his instincts that allow him to understand genius, in whatever condition it comes, from where ever it comes; his taste and class; and his passion for scholarship has made him one of the greatest comb collectors in the world. Hair combs are blessed because he fell in love with them.

He wanted his collection to be a comb museum, but tragedy and unimaginable heartbreak struck. Some scorned him. They tried to beat him. That’s when you know who your friends are. Others never wavered. “Never surrender,” he always said to me.

Today that strength of character triumphed. The KF Comb Research Project announced the prototype publication of “China: Ancient Combs of the World, Vol. IV.”

He said, “Very important for this vol. IV on ancient Chinese combs was to get it proof read and checked by someone educated and competent with this particular and very narrowly specialised subject matter. I was fortunate to get through to the best person, Miss Jing Yang, the senior researched in Palace Museum in Beijing,

“who is also an author of the best selling book on a history of Chinese combs and hair ornaments, pictured below.”

“It has been my honour and a privilege to receive a favourable opinion from such a prominent researcher. And her signature in my book prototype… how epic :) is that.”

“I also thank Wu Yi Shiuan for making this possible.” (Editors note: Wu Yi Shiuan is the founder and head of the Chinese Hairpin Museum)

Kajetan continues, “I’m pleased to report major progress with my books on ancient and ethnic combs of the world. As some of you may know, I’m working on a series of 5 volumes presenting (in pictures) the results of my long time research and collecting efforts, divided by cultural regions. The first test copies were printed and I’m in a process of fixing unavoidable errors.”

Perfect English grammar eludes us all, even those of us who think in English. However, you rarely find an uncompromising purist you can trust to identify every single piece correctly. That takes 30 years to do, and he’s done it. Only love could have produced the photographs in this book.

Kajetan, you changed my life with that Maiori comb auction on E-bay. I wrote about you before knowing you existed, and amused you in the process. Then I met you, and you taught me how to see. If you can do this, I can overcome my life’s mountains, too. Thank you for these books. Thank you for your life.

The Taj of Azerbaijan

By Aynur Mammadova, assistant to Dr. Shirin Melikova, Director of the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum Crown of the Bride, the Taj was an uncommon and precious headdress in the Western Caucasus regions. In ancient times, along with other jewelry that formed the basis of a wedding dress, the Taj took precedence among bridal gifts and was…Continue Reading

Book Review: Berber Women of Morocco

Like a nomad gazing at the night sky, a ceiling of stars covered the main room of the 2014 exhibition, Berber Women of Morocco, at the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves St. Laurent in Paris. Each tribe’s jewelry and costume was sumptuously presented. The accompanying book, with pages of orange and indigo-blue, is a tribute…Continue Reading

Indian Combs of Love and Perfume

One day in 1819, an Indian tiger noticed a party of British hunters. They were obviously lost and thirsty, so the tiger led them to a cave where there was water and went on his way. The Western Ghat mountains near Maharashta can be hard to navigate. What the hunters found were the painted caves…Continue Reading

Auctions: Pre-Columbian, Indian, and Islamic Jewelry

On 15 May 2015: African, Oceanic & Pre-Columbian Art: Sotheby’s. Among the jewelry for sale is this large gold frog pendant (800 – 1500 AD) from the Coclé civilization of modern-day Panama. Starting bids: $50,000 to $70,000. 23 April 2015: Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds: Christie’s, London: An 18th Century Armenian gemset and…Continue Reading

Diamond Hair Combs and Tiaras

Tiaras have been an essential part of a woman’s wedding dowry since the Middle Ages. As early as the 1850’s, aristocratic women bought sets of diamond sprays and brooches. Delicately set in platinum and looking like embroidery, these pieces came with different fittings such as a tiara frame, hinge for a tortoiseshell comb, or pin…Continue Reading