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Fragment of a comb

Fragment of a comb

  • Place of origin:

    Malwa (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1st century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved ivory

  • Museum number:

    IM.21-1937

  • Gallery location:

    South Asia, Room 41, case 30

Physical description

Carved decoration depicts lovers beneath a pavilion. The remains of the teeth of the comb are visible on the lower margin.
This is part of the damaged "back" of the comb, which is in the form of acarved panel. On the left is a garden scene with the body and leg probably of awoman. On the right a pavilion with a man and a woman in the attitude of allliance. On the lower margin there are traces of the broken teeth of the comb.

Place of Origin

Malwa (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1st century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved ivory

Dimensions

Depth: 6.4 cm, Height: 5.1 cm

Object history note

Purchased from J.E.Gejou of Paris in 1937. RP/37/3241 & 2547

Historical context note

North (central?) India, Kushan dynasty, circa 2nd century AD. Carved decoration depicts lovers beneath a pavilion. The remains of the teeth of the comb are visible on the lower margin.

Descriptive line

Fragment of a comb in Ivory, North (central?) India, ca. 1st century AD

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Correspondance between Gejou and the V&A first addressed to the 'Department of ivory'. Letter dated 12/3/1937 to MacLogan with attached a letter from the Musee Guimet (20/11/1928) signed by Hackin, assigning the piece to the VII-VIII AD. Ajanta and Bhilsa are quoted for comparison. Codrington recognises the comb as Northern Indian, and dates it to the 1st BC. After much bargaining the piece is bought for 40 pounds.
Swallow, Deborah and John Guy eds. Arts of India: 1550-1900. text by Rosemary Crill, John Guy, Veronica Murphy, Susan Stronge and Deborah Swallow. London : V&A Publications, 1990. 240 p., ill. ISBN 1851770224, p.23, no.10.

Production Note

North (central?) India, India

Materials

Ivory

Techniques

Carving

Subjects depicted

Leaves; Figures

Categories

Accessories

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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