I would like to feature four museum combs today. The first comes from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. It belonged to the King Wadj, whose name means serpent. His tomb was found near the ancient city of Abydos. He was the third King of the First Egyptian Dynasty and ruled c. 2920 BC. In the comb’s carvings, you can see two serpents.
Our next work was made by Maori master Patoromu Tamatea. This bone Heru comb resides in New Zealand’s Museum of Wellington’s City & Sea under the collector’s, instead of the artist’s name.
Next are two marvelously shaped combs from the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum in South India. Both were made from the 18th to 19th Centuries.
And last is a breathtaking liturgical comb, which belonged to Saint Heribert (970 – 1021). He was Archbishop of Cologne (Köln) and considered a saint in his lifetime. Pope Gregory VII canonized him c. 1074. This crucifixion comb is one of the prizes in Köln’s Schnütgen Museum and was made in the second half of the 9th Century.
There is a completeness to this 2500-comb collection, as it spans the whole world and time. Most individual collections specialize. This museum brings together the love of many in a dazzling display of hair comb art. The pictures are a community unto themselves.
The museum founders state, “There is nowhere you can see this collection, since it is private. As the owners want to share its resources with everyone, CREATIVE MUSEUM will do its best to offer all the services you could find in a museum: a temporary exhibition with a special theme, a view of the permanent collection, background information and more: expertise.”
Here are a few comparisons and pictures. From the museum:
I believe this is my picture of the same comb in 2004.
Here is a Manchurian hairpin from the collection.
This is my Manchu piece.
And here are just three pictures, which reveal the eye of the collective mastery that brings this project to life. The still-life photography is superb.
This art nouveau piece was originally a dog collar plaque (do we love this?) but can also be worn as a barrette. It was made in 1902 by the House of Koch, founded in 1879 by Robert and Louis Koch in Germany. In 1883, Koch was bestowed with the title of ‘Jeweler of the court.’ Many works were made for European Royal families such as the Czar of Russia or the King of Italy.
Our dog collar / barrette shows a spring scene of birch trees, green grass with floral detail. The blue lake offsets the purple mountains in the distance, and the sky is opal. Everything but the opal sky was made in enamel, surrounded by silver-topped gold and diamonds. This is a masterpiece. Thankfully, the pin stems were added later. The estimated value is $150,000 – $200,000. It did not sell.