|Paul Follot, Ivory and Mother of Pearl comb, circa 1905-1910 - Musée d'Orsay|
Though beautiful, ivory is a terrible material. Lets face it, no comb (or jewelry, or trophy on your wall) is worth the death of an elephant. None the less, ivory was a very popular material for combs during their Edwardian heyday and going back centuries before that too. Thankfully with the inventions of celluloid and other early plastics comb makers began to use 'french ivory' which was basically faux ivory made of such plastics.
These combs may be beautiful, but like their tortoiseshell companions, are another reminder of humans doing their best to make other species go extinct. Still, we can admire them for their beautiful style, lines, and design and be glad that this material has been banned in the years since. Now with modern plastics and resins there would be no reason to ever use real ivory in any application, and we can make similarly beautiful off-white combs without having to sacrifice elephants in the process.
|Comb Made in Spain, Europe 19th century Artist/maker unknown, Spanish|
|Renaissance Revival Continental ivory hair comb|
|c1880-1900 carved ivory comb close-up|
|Ivory hair comb with greek key motif. 1880s-1920|
|c1880-1900 carved ivory comb, Chinese made for western trade|
|Egyptian Revival comb made from French ivory|
|French Ivory comb with white and yellow rhinestones, art deco|
|1910-1920, French Ivory Art Deco hair comb in the Egyptian Revival taste|
|Japanese french ivory comb showing western art deco influence|
|Art Deco French Ivory Hair Comb with French Jet and Gilding|