Category Archives: African Hair Comb

What’s Around to Buy? :-)

There are a couple of things on ebay, which haven’t ended yet, so I can’t put them on, but I will soon. However, I searched around and found some nice things. Here is a nice collection of Victorian combs, which is being sold individually by Antiques and Common Treasures on Ruby Lane.

I like the three tortoiseshell hairpins.

This is a totally gorgeous French Empire seed-pearl diadem on tortoiseshell, which you will notice is a bit curved up, so you can wear it as a tiara in the front of a bun on top of your head. It is in perfect condition, and selling for $695.

Something else I loved was a diadem comb top also from the French Empire period, which sold on ebay for $1027.50 on Dec. 29, 2008.

This Chinese-made ivory comb for the Victorian market is only selling for $145 on Ruby Lane. The decoration is three birds perched on a flower, and it’s 6 1/2″ high and 3 1/4″ wide. I’d say this is a good buy.

Finally, Christies is selling a set of two beautiful Belle Epoque shell hair pins with 212 diamonds between them, on platinum, c 1900. They will be sold on Feb. 9, est: $5,000 – $7,000.

This Greek Ivory comb, c. 350 B.C., with a letter of authenticity, and a fabulously carved woman’s face sold for $813 on Jan 20, 2009.

Some Lovely Things on Ebay and Beyond

Portrait of a Lady: This painting of the Parmese School, c. 1775, possibly shows Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria, Queen of Naples and Sicily (1752-1814) with pearls and ribbons in her hair. It’s oil on cavas, going on sale in London on Sept. 28, est: $3500.

This is one of a pair of art nouveau tortoiseshell hair combs with plique-à-jour enamel flowers and foliate scrolling detail by Braquemond. There is scalloped 18K gold trim, and it is mounted in enamel. These combs formed part of a toilet set for Baron Joseph Vitta, who lived in Paris, and was an important art nouveau patron. c.1900. est: $50,000 – $70,000

This acrylic-on-paper painting of a nude with blue hair is by Wallase Ting, c. 1929, and is estimated at $9000. I love it.

This early 19th-Century silver gilt, diamond and sapphire tiara sold on ebay for $3000 on Sept 19. Congratulations to the winning bidder. It is set with 7-10 carats of natural cabochon sapphires, 3-5 carats of table cut diamonds, and nine large sapphires with a total weight of 15-20 carats.

These are two combs from Africa that just caught my eye. I love the expressions of the sculpture on top of the combs.

This pair of Edwardian tortoiseshell haircombs with diamonds on top have a curved design, as well as curved tines. They sold on ebay for $1800 on Sept 18 to a live auction floor bidder.

This  gorgeous coral diadem with leaves and flowers sold for $500 (great price) on Sept 16 at a live auction to u***g of ebay. Yay! And ebayer got it. Est: $600 – $800. Fabulous treasure.

Now, it’s time to die. This pink diamond tiara, and those pinks come from the Australian mines at Argyle. No one knows what makes a diamond pink. Anyway, I’m dying. It’s listed for $192,732 (I think it will go for more) in Hong Kong for an Oct 7 sale. There is a fancy intense pink diamond in the middle, probably from the Argyle tender. It was made by Garrard, and is set on a platinum band.

And here is a close up.

The pinks of Argyle (don’t let the size fool you), as well as the large D flawless white diamonds are nature at it’s most beautiful. It’s like a drug for diamond collectors and admirers. You just have to have it. I wonder who will buy this. I see it as Elizabeth Taylor-worthy.

Open Designs

LEFT: From the estate of Francis J. Whitney comes this silver hair comb made by Alexander Calder himself, c. 1948. The work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application number It sold for $55,000. RIGHT: An African ivory comb from the Tshokwe tribe, composed of three tiers of intricate openwork, geometric design above the flared shoulder and thin tines; varied creamy patina. It is listed in Robbins and Nooter 1989: 549, figure 1491. Price Estimate: $2000 to $3000.

Sun Queen or Parrot Owner?

This ivory comb is being sold as part of a collection of African art at Sothebys. It is from the Baule tribe on the Ivory Coast. Est: $1200. Many times, combs from this tribe and region will be sold on Ebay. When artists represent their culture, they often do mythology and tell the world about their gods. But when I saw this, I thought, this artist must own a parrot.

While the artist is trying to work, her pet parrot (let’s say he’s an amazon named Harry :-) flies in the exact spot where he would have to be paid attention to immediately, her head. Then he pecks at her hair because in his mind, she has to get up and give him a peanut, now now now. The artist, meanwhile, closes her eyes and asks, “God, why me,” as her headache bulges. :-) I fell in love with this comb.

Two Elephants

There are some sellers of tribal arts who can get a good price for an African hair comb. Most of the time, I think they are extremely undervalued, given the artwork and great tradition of comb making on that continent. This comb brought in a good price, $155.50 on June 20, 2006, maybe because it was brass. I just thought the two elephants give it a sense of humor. It was made in the Ivory Coast by a Baule artist.