Vintage Lacquered Kushi, (Japanese Hair Comb), Inlaid with Abalone Shell | 1920

This gorgeous kushi comb, (black lacquer on wood), was a long time possession of a wealthy family in Kyoto. This heavy, high quality comb is decorated with an extravagant, inlay of pale blue-green abalone,(aogai), incorporating the Hou-ou, (Phoenix bird), and small diverse flowers a giving a wonderful three-dimensional character to the piece. The design is continued on the back of the top of the comb. Approximate age: 1920. Condition: “As Is” /Excellent with all the combdrumbs, (teeth) intact. Dimensions: 4-0”L x 2-1/8”h.

Additional Information —
A Japanese comb and hairpin is about much more than just styling your hair. Some 400 years ago, Japan took the simple comb and transformed it into an elegant beauty accessory that became a work of art. Japanese kushi, (combs), and kanzashi, (hairpin), became expressions of a woman’s character, social class, religion. People could even tell what neighborhood someone lived in by looking at their hair ornaments. According to an ancient Japanese proverb, “A woman’s hair is her life”, (Kami wa onna no inochi), and from the early 1600’s until the beginning of the modern era, decorative combs and hairpins have been an important part of Japanese fashion.

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