Category Archives: French Hair Comb

Deco Enamel

This beautiful art deco comb looks like it’s folded-over fabric. The dealer said it came from the family of a bodyguard and friend of Abraham Lincoln, but he only had the word of the family. Provenance cannot be proved, so poof on the value of that, but the comb’s design is fabulous. It sold for $162.50 on March 23. You may refer to auction #310129381111. Although the dealer calls it a Victorian comb, it’s not. This is 1920’s deco in beautiful form.

Bought This

Couldn’t resist. I had to sell a Dominick and Haff silver comb way back when, and I have always wanted another one. It has the marking D&H, I believe 61 is the model number, and then sterling. Condition: perfect. Price: $66.99! There is one selling on a retail site for $200. Yay. A bargain. :-)

In this set, there was also a knockout Edo comb, which went for only $55 because it was damaged. I wanted it, but I felt I had to be disciplined and only get things that were marked and in perfect condition because my funds are *cough* not endless. ;-) But this early 18th Century Japanese comb, with this level of art on it would have gone high. With the matching kogai stick, a signature, and everything in perfect condition, forget it.

This beautiful shell comb with two flowers was part of a set of two, which sold for $227.

The White Bonaz

I missed it. I was too busy trying to get the server up. Head bangs against wall. It sold on ebay for $586.11 on Feb 22. A masterpiece, a Maltese Falcon, a heartbreaker from French art deco designer Auguste Bonaz. Bonaz combs are made of celluloid. I would just like to say that Alexandre de Paris rare pieces, where Paris atteliers make 3 of them, follow the tradition of Bonaz.

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.

French 15th Century Boxwood Comb

First, I’d like to thank the ebay community, especially 0o–seamstress–o0, qmbridges, bengaltiger55, igmato, kynana33, mypinkmimosa, dorothy4284, and pelliott4dz0 for their prayers and comments. They touched my heart and were most appreciated.

Today, I’d like to go back to a subject I talked about earlier in the blog, 15th-century French ivory- and boxwood-carved H combs. First used as religious objects, their designs went secular just about the time madrigals left the church and started being about love.

This comb, being sold at Sothebys, est. $12,000, has multiple panels, and a pierced heart on one side, a Romanesque motif on the other. It might be part of that tradition of ideas, but it is in perfect condition, and I think magnificent. To think that the French made H combs at all, given what they did to comb making 400 years later is amazing to me.


Willow Wands

Made with .925-silver, agate, jade, and moonstone, this barrette is German, c. 1930. What makes it special is that in the literature highlights  of the Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim, Fritz Falk, 2004, page 76, there is an illustration ofa Rene Lalique brooch that looks just like it, called Willow Wands. It is on sale at the Tadema Gallery in the $2500 – $5000 range.

In addition, at Christies, a suite of early 19th Century gold and turquoise English jewelry is being sold, bearing an estimate of 5000 UKP. The suite includes a necklace, earrings, a bracelet, brooch, and this gorgeous tiara.

Yes,every day my hairdresser comes to outfit me in the tiaras and dresses and hairstyles that go with them *cough*, but this painting by Louis-Marie Autissier (1772-1830) shows a lady in a blue satin dress with a Renaissance collar and a pearl-set gold tiara in her perfectly curled brown hair.

Some Beautiful Combs

A tortoiseshell comb with intricate scrollwork and garnets by British arts-and-crafts movement master-jeweler Child & Child, with makers mark on the back and fitted case, sold for $691 in London.

This beautiful English 18K-gold carnelian cameo demi-parure, c. 1830, comes with a ring and earrings.

These late Edo Japanese combs sold for $1026. I love the flock of gold-maki-e flock of birds.

This art deco tortoiseshell Cartier comb bordered with enamel and diamonds, with case, has an estimated value of $4000 and will go on sale in Geneva on Nov 20.

When the Shah ruled Iran, his Empress Farah wore this tiara to her wedding, and it remained her favorite throughout her life.

This absolutely exquisite sapphire and diamond tiara is part of a demi-parure with a necklace and pin, c. 1830. The sapphires accent a floral-spray design. Lot estimate $500,000. This just takes my breath away.

Some Lovely Things on Ebay

There have been some really interesting, unusual combs that sold recently. Here is a small sample.

This reproduction of an ancient Indian comb worn by a queen might belong culturally to the Sikh sect of Hinduism, which had a Kanga, a small-toothed comb worn in the hair. This plot depicts Lord Krishna and his beloved Rahda, erotically posed, as girls dance around him. The dance, or sport, is called Raas Leela, where the birth of the Shri Krishna is celebrated by gopis, or devotees who forget all worldly thoughts in place of love for him. It sold for only $32.

The next two things that caught my eye were two silver kanzashis because their designs were so beautifully balanced with flowers, birds, and ideas. These sold for $132.50 and $86 in September.

Third today, is a beautiful Edo kogai stick, with gold maki-e decorations on the ends. But there is a three-dimensional perspective in the way the houses are set amongst the trees, lakes, and flowers in a rural Japanese villiage. It sold for only $31 on Sept. 28.

Now, we’ll go to France, for two celluloid combs decorated with two tones of aluminium, a very valuable material at its time of discovery. They sold for $162. 50 on Oct. 2.

Last is a dark tortoiseshell Victorian pique comb with a raised piece that contains a greek key pattern bookmarked by two stars. I wonder if the pique is machine or hand done. The condition was perfect, but the seller wanted $530 for it, and it did not sell.

A Treat for me :-)

I talked to Jovy in the Madison Ave store, and now the pieces I used to pay $600 for are now $4300, and she said the women from Paris are flying over to NYC to buy them because of the exchange rate. So I felt, well, I have my collection of Alexandre Paris haute couture, and that will just have to be it.


I found one from Hong Kong that was selling for $195 in the original box from the store, and they showed pics of the name, and I know this was a genuine couture piece. It was over. I bought it at an offer price of $180. I wear an Alex barrette or snood every single day. My 50th birthday is coming up in a month. I will love this and wear it A LOT. ;-) I’m going to tell Jovy. Ha! But I have to tell you. This is the first Alex couture piece I’ve seen on ebay in the 5 years I’ve been searching. You may refer to auction #260289856340.

The flower is made of suede with hand-beaded crystals by a French haute couture attelier.