Category Archives: Jen Cruse

Sikhs and Sikh Combs

An important comb type, little publicised and infrequently encountered, is a notable feature of the orthodox Sikh community whose peoples, now dispersed throughout the world, originated mainly from the Punjab State of north-west India, bordering on Pakistan. This is a … Continue reading

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Sri Lankan Hair Pins — Formerly Ceylonese and Singalese

The hairpins known as Kondakoora emanate from Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon. Often erroneously described as Mughal or Turkish turban pins, they were traditional to the low-country regions of southern Sri Lanka, as opposed to the hills of the Kandy region, … Continue reading

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Jen Cruse: Combs from the Miller Comb Museum

The three combs shown here each carry an important provenance – that of the Miller Comb Museum in Homer, Alaska, and date to the first quarter of the 20th century. They are featured in my book on page 79 (published … Continue reading

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Jen Cruse: Stratton Combs

In 1920, the English company of Jarrett, Rainsford & Laughton Ltd resulted from a merger of two smaller companies, each manufacturing items of inexpensive jewellery and haberdashery goods. However, Stratton Ltd was already owned by Laughtons at the time of … Continue reading

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Jen Cruse: The Swastika Motif

The comb in the photograph, a celluloid low back comb (simulating tortoiseshell), was bought in an Antique shop in Quebec City in 1995 for C$50 (£30). The decorative band along the heading, fixed to the comb by three rivets, comprises … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Sumba Combs

The spectacular high combs worn by young women, brides and adolescent girls in East Sumba, Indonesia, form part of their rich traditional costume for festivals, ceremonies and weddings. These treasured objects, belonging to the Island’s aristocratic families, have passed down … Continue reading

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Jen Cruse: The Spider Motif on Combs

Spiders are not insects but belong to the class of arachnids, along with scorpions and mites. Numerous kinds of spiders exist all over the world and many weave webs from a natural secretion of silk thread exuding from glands in … Continue reading

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Jen Cruse: The Art of Chinese Ivory Comb Carving

By Jen Cruse: When trade links with China were re-established in the 18th century, the earliest and largest markets were in the West. Chinese teas and silks were the prime commodities of trade with Europe and America and an increasing … Continue reading

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