An unusual tiara style hair comb in silver tone metal filigree with figural birds
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 3½ ins h x 4 ins w (9 x 10 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
Here is a very unusual tiara style hair comb in silver tone metal filigree. I believe it to be old Indonesian workmanship. The nature of the filigree work and the form of the peacocks (?) reminds me of certain elements found in Indonesian art. I have seen similar elements on old Sumatra tiaras and hair combs. These cultures have a custom of very elaborate headdresses for both males and females in traditional wedding ceremonies.
The design has two exotic looking and very much formalised “birds” which confront one another across the heading. These creatures have elaborately worked crests and tails, and are probably intended to represent peacocks. Set in between are a set of circular motifs, which are also repeated in the tails of the birds.
The comb has two integral tines to secure it in the hair. These are set at right angles to the heading but may easily be bend to provide a different t position.
The photograph with the model shows the ornament worn as a back comb. However it could easily be adapted for use as a tiara comb.
The nature of the filigree work and the form of the peacocks (?) reminds me of certain elements found in Indonesian art and it could be that this delightful origin originated in Java or Bali. The peacock dance is a traditional one in Java and the choreography imitates the natural movements of this beautiful bird in a stylised way. In Java elaborate headdresses are worn by brides and may take the form of a stylised crown with a winged aspect. Peacocks also appear prominently in traditional Indonesian batik designs.
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