Kushi and Kanzashi Hair Accessory

Japanese Antique Black Lacquer, Gold and Mother of Pearl Kushi and Kanzashi Hairpin



Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: Kushi- 3-3/8”L x 2-1/8”h; Kanzashi-4-3/4”L

This Antique Japanese comb set consists of two extremely delicately designed pieces. The pair of hair accessories have been decorated using Japanese Makie' (Gold lacquer), illustrating a pattern of flowers and leaves accented with Mother of Pearl on both the comb and hairpin which is also repeated on the reverse side of both pieces. This Kanzashi pulls apart for ease of use. Japanese Kushi, (combs), and Kanzashi, (hairpin), became expressions of a woman’s character, social class, and 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.

Antique Condition: Extremely fine condition, and ornamentation with no missing teeth, broken parts, and no defects of note. “As is”, and retains the original craft/workmanship. No discoloration, chipping/cracking, surface wear or structural damage noted. The set comes in its original silk lined Kiriwood lidded box.

NOTE: Japan's oldest combs were said to be used for fortune telling and prayers. In the Edo period, the women's hairstyle that had been hanging straight up until that time became "a hairstyle of the movement”, so the demand for combing and hanking, (coiling, knotting, looping a piece of hair), became in fashion. These artworks are the crystallization of the best of techniques such as woodworking, metalworking, lacquer art, openwork, inlay, mother-of-pearl work, These valuable cultural assets vividly show the scenic beauty in Japan, spiritual prosperity of the Japanese people and unparalleled skills of the Japanese ancestors.