Category Archives: French Hair Comb

Diamond Hair Combs at Sotheby’s

It’s amazing what different artists can do with the same idea. Boucheron made this curved diamond tiara c. 1910 in London. One could attach it to the blonde tortoiseshell comb fitting with a screwdriver. It sold for 15,600 GBP on December 15, 2005. This diamond-and-pearl tiara hinged to a tortoiseshell comb is unsigned. In the…Continue Reading

Lalique Diadem at Christie’s

René Lalique integrated sculpture, Symbolist philosophy, Japanese ideas, and new materials to reign as the genius of Art Nouveau design. He was also a keen observer of daily life. How many children would place garlands Christmas trees? In this diadem, tree branches of green enamel and small diamond flowers are decorated with a mabe pearl…Continue Reading

Some Lovely Things on Ebay

Three stunning way-too-expensive pieces are selling on E-bay. They come from different worlds. Looking at them, I feel like I’m in a historical conference in an imaginary United Nations. The first piece is a back comb from the French Empire’s Eugenie period, c. 1860. A blue enameled center sets off two sides of gilt-bronze scrolls,…Continue Reading

Rene Lalique: Glass in Jewelry

Lalique dazzled the public, carving combs of flowers and butterflies using new materials, such as ivory, bronze, and horn. But in 1901, he was the first to exhibit crystal-glass jewelry at the Exhibition of the Paris Salon. These four pieces show how he developed his idea. In 1897-98, Lalique cast a mermaid in bronze. She…Continue Reading

Galalith Plastic in Art Deco Jewelry: Auguste Bonaz Comb

In 1897, Wilhelm Krische discovered that a new synthetic material could be made from the interaction of caesin (milk proteins) and formaldehyde. He combined the Greek words for milk and stone (gala and lithos) and named his new plastic Galalith. It revolutionized the button industry. But also made in sheets, it could be cut and…Continue Reading

The Creative Museum World Tour

Another blog wrote about them: Le Blog de Cameline! She tells the story of the family in French. This post will be an English translation, and then I will pick some of my favorite combs from this magnificent collection, so we can enjoy both posts. Cameline says, “The Creative Museum is a virtual museum devoted…Continue Reading

Rene Lalique and Calouste Gulbenkian

They were friends for 50 years. Perhaps that’s why Gulbenkian (right) obtained diplomatic immunity and became the Iranian ambassador to Pétain’s Vichy government in 1939. On October 30, 1939, 79-year-old René Lalique rushed to his factory in Wingen, Alcase. The glass-making fires were out. He tried to save his priceless glass molds, but the German…Continue Reading