Category Archives: Danish comb

Georg Jensen Hair Combs

Born to the son of a Danish knife grinder in 1866, Georg Jensen had many dreams when he was young. He trained to be a goldsmith at 14, pursued his childhood dream to sculpt at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, worked at a porcelain factory, and co-founded a pottery shop in 1898. None of these attempts were successful enough to support him and his family.

In 1901, he got a job as a silversmith and designer with Mogens Balin, a friend of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Gauguin. With Balin, he learned Art Nouveau.

Successful innovators have a belief in themselves that goes beyond social recognition. In 1904, Jensen risked all the money he had and opened his own silversmith shop at 36 Bredgade in Copenhagen. His knowledge of fine art and technical ability with metals soon brought him fame. The company expanded, and his name became a worldwide brand.

However, from 1904 to 1908, he made his creations with his own hand. These four years are called Jensen’s First Period.

On e-Bay, there is a fabulous First Period Georg Jensen comb selling for $16,000. It is not overpriced. On a tortoiseshell comb, amber and agate jewels flower the silver leaves. In magnificent condition, the comb also comes in its original box, which has the correct marking.

In the shop, Danish Silver, there are other early Jensen combs.

This piece bears the hallmark of being made between 1908 – 1914. The silver design is punctuated by a labradorite center stone and opals on the sides. It has been repaired and is selling for $8,808.

This is a First Period tiara comb, all in silver, sporting moonstones. In excellent, original condition, it is selling for $27,950.

Of course, we must end with a crown. Jensen made this magnificent piece for his friend Frederik Fredinand Tillisch. It was worn by Tillisch’s bride, Ingeborg Hertha Paludan-Muller, at their wedding in 1911. There is no price on this, so we can just imagine.


For more scholarly research, please examine

Georg Jensen: A Tradition of Splendid Silver

Georg Jensen: An Artist’s Biography

Georg Jensen Jewelry


From the English, we know that different fittings can make an extraordinary piece of jewelry into a practical object. Consider multiple functions for a set of diamond brooches.

I have always felt you can take a brooch to a jeweler and ask him or her to make a barrette fitting in addition to the pinback. This simple act increases your choice of ornaments 100-fold.

Movie stars have made fashion history doing this.

Here are some brooches I would wear in my hair.

J.E. Caldwell was an American jeweler from Philadelphia. He was known for his Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces and made this platinum-mesh and diamond bow c. 1920.

Boucheron made this feather out of gold, rubies, and diamonds in 1940.

A member of the elite jewelers of Taxco, Antonio Pineda made this brooch c. 1955.

Born in the tenements of NYC’s Lower East Side to immigrant parents, he took the name Seaman because he could see the Seaman’s Savings Bank from his apartment window. From the 1930’s to the 1950’s, Mr. Schepps’s pioneering designs attracted customers such as the Duchess of Windsor and Franklin Roosevelt. He designed this set of opal and diamond butterfly pins, which could easily be worn as two side barrettes, c. 1960.

David Webb made this posy of violets in the 1980’s. The violets are sapphires with emerald centers on jade leaves with diamond stems.

Van Cleef & Arpels made this Christmas rose out of angel-skin coral and diamonds in 2000.

Finally, a hair comb by Georg Jensen himself.


For more scholarly research, please examine these books, which can be found in our Resource Library

Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels: Tiara made for Princess Fwazia Pahlavi of Iran, 1939

Van Cleef and Arpels

Alain: Bad Boy of Norway

Museums are so annoying when they do not allow people to take pictures (without a flash) of exhibition items. I remember going to a diamond exhibit in Houston and seeing a few combs, but forgot I had my cell phone camera. *rolls eyes up to God*

However, on a trip to Oslo, one of the founders of the Creative Museum did remember he had a cell phone camera. :-) Inauspiciously disguised in a Dick Tracy hat, trench coat and dark glasses, he took a picture. Now we can see the Danish “Skonvirke” combs Oslo curators chose for the exhibit. :-) Skonvirke is the Danish version of Art Nouveau.

I like the coral-cabachon comb, but the Danish collection of the Creative Museum is better and much more extensive than what was shown in Oslo. Here are two examples.

This tortoiseshell and silver comb in its original box is attributed to Thorvald Bindesbøll. Provenance: “The design of a similar comb can be seen page 68, in the book Thorvald Bindesbøll og sølvsmedene, published by the Museet på Koldinghus.”

A tortoiseshell comb with a coral cabachon very similar to Georg Jensen.