Category Archives: Chinese Hair Comb

Tang Dynasty Hair Comb at the Smithsonian

Recently, the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Institution put 40,000 Asian and American works of art online. This magnificent hair comb is one of them.

tang-dynasty-hair-comb-smithsonian

I felt it was Tang Dynasty, but I also knew that the Xiōngnú, a nomadic Mongol tribe who fought and conquered Chinese peoples to form the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.), came into contact with Western Cultures. That is when gold met jade, so I was not sure.

However, my friend Kajetan knew this comb and said, “This is a well known late Tang Dynasty comb. Open work is less frequent in Tang metal (gilded silver, or sheet gold) combs and this usually means the comb belongs to the Late Period. Sometimes this comb has been attributed to the Song dynasty (960-1279).”

Creative Museum: Stones, Leaves, Scissors

The Creative Museum just played a significant part in another exhibition at the Montelimar Miniature Museum. STONES, LEAVES, SCISSORS is about hair ornaments made in three different ways. Whether an artist looks at a piece of jade and carves a crown, looks at a piece of silver and cuts leaves into an intricate pattern, or takes…Continue Reading

Plumes: The Creative Museum at the Musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Asie

In its second collaboration with the Museum of African and Asian Arts in Vichy, The Creative Museum has been invited to participate in the exhibition, PLUMES. Human fascination with birds begins when their freedom of flight captures our imaginations. We watch birds soar and glide freely, as their beautiful, feathered wings catch gusts of air.…Continue Reading

More Treasures from The Frances Wright Collection

Frances has been generous enough to share more of her treasures with us. The photographs were taken by her husband, Terry Wright. This is a Romanov comb, the real thing. Faint now. It is tortoiseshell, with a gold, silver, and pearl heading and the mark of one of Faberge’s most famous designers. The original box,…Continue Reading

Learning from the Creative Museum and Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment

In quotes are comments from Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment by Truus Daalder. Reference numbers are in italics and specified at the bottom. The photographs and other writing come from the collection and scholarship of The Creative Museum. I thought it would be interesting to combine them. They crossed paths in China, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia.…Continue Reading

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 on combs and hairpins from many countries around the world, and even featured on the…Continue Reading

Jen Cruse: Exhibition for the Creative Museum

In an “Around the World in 80 Comb” exhibition, author Jen Cruse shares her collection with the Creative Museum. Her presentation enunciates the stunning diversity of comb design across the world and across time. My favorite is this Chinese ivory comb, which depicts Shou Xing, the Chinese God of Longevity. He is part of the…Continue Reading