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Fit for a Queen: Antique Lapis & Gold Hair Comb

Item 11657

Self adornment is not limited to just the body. Ornamentation of the hair has been in existence centuries upon centuries and combs have been found in almost every country of the world. The earliest combs most likely were made of wood, bone and ivory. As fashions changed and technology advanced additional natural materials such as horn, shell, tortoiseshell and eventually metals and invented products of celluloid, bakelite and plastic were crafted into these “jewels for the hair”.

A Victorian era hair comb, fit for HRH Queen Victoria, is crafted from 18k yellow gold and decorated with natural pearls and gems of lapis lazuli. The comb itself is of natural tortoise shell of variegated shades of brown and touches of blonde. Fabricated in the shape of a crown scores of scrolls and twisted gold wire work abound. A trio of navette shapes is accented with lustrous creamy white natural pearls which surround a centered cabochon of lapis lazuli in each. Interspersed between the marquise designs faceted pyramids of lapis lazuli rise above. Gold bead work appoints the surface as a medley of alternating lapis, gold beads and small natural pearls delineate the bottom. Spires of gold swirls are topped with orbs of lapis lazuli grace the top. It remains a magnificent original jewel still with its original red leather box, lined with red silk and maroon velvet.

Measurements: 4-7/16 inches (11.6 cm) in length by 3-3/16 inches (8 cm) in width by 1/2 of an inch (1.2 cm) in depth. This antique comb has a weight of 42.1 grams (27.1 dwt). Box is 5-7/16 inches (14.4 cm) by 4-5/16 inches (11 cm) by 1-1/2 inches (3.7 cm).

Condition: Very good to excellent; gold work, lapis lazuli and pearls are all near mint; surface on upper part of the tortoise shell has a more matte finish; small loss on one prong on the inside far right.

Box condition is very good; very light wear with a touch more on the corners; front button of latch is missing; inside silk is frayed at the closure and hinge area.

Date: Circa 1850.

Overall Scale: Large.