Author Archives: jencruse

About jencruse

"The Comb," by Jen Cruse is lavishly illustrated with over 500 photographs. This is a wide-ranging, scholarly reference book.

Jen Cruse: Combs from the Miller Comb Museum

The three combs shown here each carry an important provenance – that of the Miller Comb Museum in Homer, Alaska, and date to the first quarter of the 20th century. They are featured in my book on page 79 (published … Continue reading

Posted in 1920's, art deco hair comb, Betty Miller, Jen Cruse | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Jen Cruse: Stratton Combs

In 1920, the English company of Jarrett, Rainsford & Laughton Ltd resulted from a merger of two smaller companies, each manufacturing items of inexpensive jewellery and haberdashery goods. However, Stratton Ltd was already owned by Laughtons at the time of … Continue reading

Posted in American Hair Comb, Jen Cruse | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Jen Cruse: Mauchline Ware and Combs – Scottish Souvenirs of the 19th Century

Mauchline Ware is a distinctive form of Scottish decorative treen, said to have originated in the Ayrshire (now Strathclyde) town of Mauchline in the late 18th or early 19th century. The wooden articles, generally known as Mauchline Ware, were made … Continue reading

Posted in Mauchline ware, Scottish Comb | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jen Cruse: The Swastika Motif

The comb in the photograph, a celluloid low back comb (simulating tortoiseshell), was bought in an Antique shop in Quebec City in 1995 for C$50 (£30). The decorative band along the heading, fixed to the comb by three rivets, comprises … Continue reading

Posted in Jen Cruse | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Jen Cruse: The Butterfly Motif

The butterfly, the short-lived ethereal beauty of gardens and countryside, has been a favourite motif adorning hair jewellery for at least the past 250 years and particularly popular through the 19th and early 20th centuries. Its delicate form is found … Continue reading

Posted in American Hair Comb, Chinese Hair Comb, Edwardian Hair Comb, English Hair Comb, Indonesian Hair Comb, Jen Cruse | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sumba Combs

The spectacular high combs worn by young women, brides and adolescent girls in East Sumba, Indonesia, form part of their rich traditional costume for festivals, ceremonies and weddings. These treasured objects, belonging to the Island’s aristocratic families, have passed down … Continue reading

Posted in Jen Cruse, Sumba Hair Comb | Leave a comment

Jen Cruse: The Spider Motif on Combs

Spiders are not insects but belong to the class of arachnids, along with scorpions and mites. Numerous kinds of spiders exist all over the world and many weave webs from a natural secretion of silk thread exuding from glands in … Continue reading

Posted in American Hair Comb, Jen Cruse | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Chinese Hair Comb, Jen Cruse | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Jen Cruse: Mongolian Hair Ornaments From Our Community

Written by Jen Cruse, featuring the collections of Gina Hellweger and The Creative Museum. Mongol women traditionally wore their thick black hair tied in long plaits falling forward onto their shoulders, placing slightly curved silver combs flat on the top … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Museum, Gina Hellweger, Jen Cruse, Mongolian hair pin | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jen Cruse: Rolled Gold on Victorian Hairpins

The process of producing rolled gold, invented in Birmingham in 1785 by a London manufacturer, was known as gold plating until the 1840s, when electro-gilding methods were introduced. Rolled gold is produced by fusing a thin layer of gold alloy … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment