Classic Java lotus design hair comb gilded brass rhinestones
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 5 ins h x 5½ ins w (13 x 14 cm) decorative part 2 ins h (5 cm)
MATERIALS: brass, rhinestones
Here is a traditional type of comb from the island of Java, Indonesia. It would have been worn for weddings or similar festivals.
The design comprises a triangular shaped heading which is pierced into an openwork repousee work design. The formalised motifs represent the opened lotus flower presented amongst its foliage and scroll work. Clear rhinestones are placed at intervals throughout the design. The back of the comb case in plain and it has three prongs to secure it in the hair.
This use of the lotus design represents the Hindu heritage in Indonesia. Lotus flowers are regarded as sacred and as a symbol of change and purity. It has its roots in mud but the beautiful flower reaches towards the heavens.
The comb would probably have been placed tiara style on the hair. The arrangement was then surmounted by an elaborate wedding crown of the type illustrated in the final picture.
Large and elaborate headdresses are still part of the traditional dress worn on festive and ceremonial occasions such as weddings in Borneo, Sarawak, Sumatra, Java and other western islands of Indonesia. Elaborate metal headpieces gilded, embossed and engraved or intricately carved combs are worn tiara like on the front or top of the head. Smaller combs are ornaments would be worn to decorate the front of the hair as shown in the final illustration.
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Vintage Indonesian hair comb repousee metal Java hair ornament (AAV)