Comb

ca. 1850-1900 (made)
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Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This Japanese hair comb was used by a woman as a decorative hair ornament in a hairstyle that was put up. It is a pair with the hairpin (FE.46-2002). Both hair ornaments are signed Ikeda Taishin (1825-1903), who was probably the most succesful pupil of the famous lacquerer Shibata Zeshin (1807-91).

Over the centuries, hairstyles and hair ornaments underwent considerable transformation in Japan. From roughly the twelfth to the late sixteenth centuries, it was customary for women to wear their hair long and loose without ornamentation. Thereafter hair was put up with increasingly elaborate hair ornaments. At first hair ornaments were mostly confined to women of the elite but, from the mid eighteenth century onwards, they were increasingly available to all strata of society. During the Edo period (1615-1868), women used a wide variety of combs (kushi), bodkins or hairpins (kanzashi) and hairpins (kogai) in a wide range of materials, such as wood, ivory and tortoiseshell, which were most commonly decorated with lacquer. Not only did the hairstyle and its ornaments reflect the age, social class and marital status of the woman, but the hair ornaments also reflected the individual’s taste.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Wood with black and gold lacquer
Brief Description
Hair comb, wood with black and gold lacquer, decorated with oak leaves and pine needles, Ikeda Taishin, Japanese, ca. 1850-1900.
Physical Description
Wooden comb covered with glossy black roiro lacquer. Decorated with scattered oak leaves and pine needles in gold hiramaki-e (flat sprinkled picture) and takamaki-e (high sprinkled picture) lacquer on the solid, upper part of the comb on both sides and over the top.
Dimensions
  • Height: 3.9cm
  • Width: 9.19cm
  • Depth: 52mm
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
Taishin (Artist's name in gold hiramaki-e lacquer on one side of the comb.)
Credit line
Given by Fumie Kosuge
Subject depicted
Summary
This Japanese hair comb was used by a woman as a decorative hair ornament in a hairstyle that was put up. It is a pair with the hairpin (FE.46-2002). Both hair ornaments are signed Ikeda Taishin (1825-1903), who was probably the most succesful pupil of the famous lacquerer Shibata Zeshin (1807-91).



Over the centuries, hairstyles and hair ornaments underwent considerable transformation in Japan. From roughly the twelfth to the late sixteenth centuries, it was customary for women to wear their hair long and loose without ornamentation. Thereafter hair was put up with increasingly elaborate hair ornaments. At first hair ornaments were mostly confined to women of the elite but, from the mid eighteenth century onwards, they were increasingly available to all strata of society. During the Edo period (1615-1868), women used a wide variety of combs (kushi), bodkins or hairpins (kanzashi) and hairpins (kogai) in a wide range of materials, such as wood, ivory and tortoiseshell, which were most commonly decorated with lacquer. Not only did the hairstyle and its ornaments reflect the age, social class and marital status of the woman, but the hair ornaments also reflected the individual’s taste.
Collection
Accession Number
FE.47-2002

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record createdJune 25, 2009
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