Category Archives: African Comb

Charlemagne Crown, Carolus Magnus

I believe Diana Scarisbrick put Charlemagne’s original crown on the cover of her book, Royal Jewels: From Charlemagne to the Romanovs

A Carolus Magnus-style crown was also made in 1804 for Napoleon’s coronation.

What I like about Napoleon’s version is that the design resembles a Dogon crown in The Creative Museum. Its theme is the honor of ancestors, as the chief sits atop and remembers.

The Dogon people live in the central plateau region of Mali, south of the Niger River in West Africa.

Heavily involved in the slave trade, the French had established strong presence on the West African coast as early as 1659. Their port was in St. Louis, or present-day Senegal. If you look on a map, Senegal is but a few miles away from Mopti, Mali, home of the Dogon.

Do the crowns allow us to connect the dots?

Prices are rising for African combs

On September 15, 2009, a comb from the Ivory Coast made from Hippopotamus bone sold for $1200 at Sotheby’s. It featured a bird on top of a woman’s head, a symbol of fertility.

Last Friday, May 13, another comb of the same design and material sold for $4062.

Sotheby’s also tried to sell this comb with an estimated price in the thousands, however, it did not sell.

The Creative Museum has a similar comb in perfect condition.