A beautiful matched pair of Japanese kanzashi style enamel hair pins with figural birds
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 2 ins w x 7 ins h (5 x 18 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1970s – 1980s
MATERIALS: metal, rhinestones
Here is a beautiful vintage Japanese hairpin set of the type called “kanzashi.” This is a kind of umbrella term used for a number of different types of hair accessory which are distinct from combs or “kushi”. Typically kanzashi have a long shaft with some kind of ornamental heading.
The ornaments were originally part of a bridal set which would have included another two hairpins similar in design, as well as other ornaments. They were usually stuck into the coiffure in such a way that the ornamental heading stood out proud from the hairdressing by several inches.
They are made of gold coloured metal and the ornamental headings take the form of a floral spray with leaves and flowers. Each flower is made from gold tone metal and has a clear rhinestone set into the centre. This lovely hairpin set was built up in a three dimensional manner as shown in the illustrations. Each hairpin has a figural bird representing a stork or crane.
The collage picture shows an apprentice geisha who is wearing a full set of ornaments of a similar character in her traditional coiffure.
The crane is a sacred bird particularly venerated in Japan and believed to live a thousand years. It symbolises beauty and longevity, also prudence, purity and vigilance. In art it is often associated with the chrysanthemum (kiku) and the pine (longevity). It is also regarded as a royal bird.
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