April 1, 2014

Curio Cabinet: Hair Combs

I have a serious obsession with antique and vintage hair combs. It doesn't matter the era, from Georgian through to the early 1930's, I love them all and I covet the amazing examples in museums! The holy grail would be a Rene Lalique comb, but such a treasure is amazingly rare and extraordinarily expensive. I would love to collect a few of the earlier combs from the 18th and 19th centuries someday, but the easiest to currently find are Edwardian and 1920's Art Deco combs. I have what I'm sure in the comb collecting community would be considered a very small collection, but for the normal vintage collector I have acquired quite a few! My obsession with these has only grown and I search for unique and colorful combs at least twice a week online in order not to miss something gorgeous coming up for sale and missing it! Most combs are above my price range but I wouldn't mind spending more if I found something once in a lifetime worthy of collecting! Let me introduce you to my collection...

This was my first comb! My parents gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago and though it took forever for it to arrive all the way from England, I instantly fell in love with antique hair combs! The design is rather Art Nouveau and I think it may be made of horn but it could also be celluloid 

This entire group of combs I bought in a lot this summer for only $50 dollars, for all five of them! As someone who stalks combs online I knew that was a bargain as usually small combs start at $20 dollars each. I snapped theses up with some of my graduation money. All of these combs are definitely made of celluloid or another early plastic.

This comb is a translucent amber with a marbled layer and citrine colored rhinestones, I think its beautiful but the angled shape between the comb tines and the top make it hard to wear
This comb is in a bit earlier style and has one major concussion on the bar above the tines, I wonder how this spot alone could have been damaged but it isn't very visible once the comb is worn in the hair

These combs I acquired last year as well, The black one is a favorite and the fine pattern of the carved plastic is so intricate and beautiful! The faux tortoise shell comb I received for Christmas this year from my parents and I love the Greek Key motif 

This comb definitely looks hand carved to me but I can't really be sure
here begins my collection of modern combs, the clear rhinestone comb I bought at the accessory store Charming Charlie and the gold comb I made by re-purposing earrings that were too heavy to wear into a comb!

Titanic fans will recognize this butterfly comb as a replica of Rose's comb from the film! Though mine is a modern 'made in China' replica I still love it as it is rather large and I think the design is still really pretty! I picked it up on ebay for under $5 dollars! The gold comb, a cluster of sparkling golden leaves is even prettier in the hair as it glitters like mad! another ebay (China) find for under $5 dollars. I think I will order a second one of these as a pair would be even prettier in the hair!

Then there are my most recent acquisitions! Which have not even arrived yet, as I just ordered them yesterday (hooray for tax returns!)

Finally some color! I'm so excited for this to arrive!
This one was labeled as 1940s and lucite but to me the design actually seems Victorian? I'm excited to have a white rhinestone comb in my collection now too
Hello my name is Bianca and I am an antique comb addict. Seriously, I have a problem, it is actually an online shopping in general problem. Well I say problem, but really I am a collector, ahem, so its justified? :)


  1. Hi, Bianca! :) Though I don't (yet?) have a collection, I've long been a passionate admirer of these once commonplace, often highly gorgeous accessories as well. Your collection is magnificent and makes me want to purchase my first - soon!

    Big hugs & many thanks for your great comment on this week's vintage outfit post (I'm sooo going to wear the belt with the buckle in the back, that's an awesome idea!),

    ♥ Jessica

    1. I seem to be drawn to items, such as these combs, which are beautiful but have fallen out of daily use whereas they were once not just commonplace, but sometimes mandatory. Things like hats and gloves (and hand fans, and genuine silk...anything). I have noticed you yourself have a rather nice collection of gloves, I wish it were still possible to get them at the department stores like our grandmothers did!

      and of course! <3


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