Antique and Vintage Hair Combs and Costume Accessories from Around the World
About The Spanish Comb
Our Service PledgeDuring normal trading periods we respond to orders within 24 hours, or 48 hours on weekends or major UK public holidays. While our shop is displaying a "vacation" notice we cannot gaurantee response times as we may not have internet access.
We guarantee the authenticity of all our items and that the item which appears in the photographs is the actual item you will receive.
Due to the amount of spoof international calls nowadays we are only able to accept phone calls from outside the UK by prior (email) arrangement. Please email us to arrange a mutually convenient time.
We specialize in antique, vintage and ethnic hair accessories, plus related vanity and costume items.
Our high quality and eclectic stock includes hair accessories upto the 1980s, as well as such ethnic examples Spanish mantilla combs and Japanese kanzashi.
For every item on sale we aim to provide full descriptive information and photographs. Wherever possible we also include illustrations from contemporary sources showing how the objects were used and worn. We also provide references to background articles where you can learn more about the product and the period in which it was made.
To access many articles which I have written about combs and hair accessories click the FAVORITE LINKS tab on the left of this page. There you will find a data archive with downloadable PDF documents.
I have collected and dealt in antiques, (particularly hair and costume accessories) for over 40 years. I traded online for 12 years on another platform before opening my Ruby Lane shop.
I am the author of a book and many articles and papers on hair accessories. I have researched my subject deeply, and visited major British and European museums and libraries to view their collections and to learn about my field.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
We are located in the United Kingdom, a country with a rich and deep tradition in the arts, applied arts and antiques.
I owe my interest in antiques to the influence of my grandmother. The wife of a diplomat, she lived in India and the Middle East in the days of the old British Empire and brought back many souvenirs from her travels. As a child I played in her house among her wonderful possessions, and grew up with a deep love of exotic fabrics and richly inlaid decoration. I still own some of the things I inherited from her and treasure them greatly.
As an young woman, I haunted antique shops and fairs and began buying Victorian jewelry and small objects which appealed to me. My first career as a librarian gave me access to literature which enabled me to research my interest in jewellery and costume. Later when grandma passed in the early 1970s I inherited much of her furniture and ornaments. Alas there was far too much to keep for myself. In fact there was enough to begin a part time antiques business. For many years afterwards I stood with a cousin at antiques fairs in the locality.
In mid life I attended university as a mature student and attained several degrees, including a doctorate. This took me into a second academic career as a University Professor. Like grandma before me I was fascinated by Islamic art and architecture. I travelled widely and experienced many countries, some like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Iran which it is difficult to visit nowadays.
In the late 1990s I inherited a vast and impressive collection of hair accessories. For some years they sat in boxes in my attic while I travelled the world and pursued my career.
In 2004 I retired from employed work and my thoughts turned to how I could profitably spend my time. I remembered the collection, and I found that there was a comb collecting club based in the USA, and many eager buyers waiting to purchase.
That was how I came to re-establish my business specialising in antique and vintage hair accessories.
I hope you enjoy visiting with me at THE SPANISH COMB.