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Japanese Hair Comb Set - Kushi and Kogai- Circa 1930s - 1940s Showa Period

Here is a Japanese Hair comb set. The pair of hair accessories have been decorated using Japanese Makie (Gold lacquer). On the 'D' shaped comb or 'Kushi'  the decoration is lavish.  It shows golden Flying Cranes above Chrysanthemum and other flowers and leaves.  Some of the larger flower blossoms are picked out with inlaid Aogai (Abalone Shell) which enhances them beautifully and ensures an irridescent effect.  The gold lacquer work goes down just to the edge of the tines and is repeated on the reverse side of the comb too. The comb has an artist's signature, also in gold lacquer, on one side.  The Kogai or ornamental hair bar has a plain gold lacquer outline design on the ends on one side with a similar pattern which includes a little shell inlay on the other side. These Kogai pull apart and this one has a wooden middle.  I have been told that Japanese ladies in bygone times secreted a sharp steel blade within their Kogai which could be used like a dagger if they needed it!   This set is a gorgeous blonde colour with a darkened middle to the bar.  It is most likely a Faux Tortoiseshell or Becco but has extremely fine decoration.This is a Vintage hair accessory set which I believe dates from the 1930s - 1940s and would therefore be classed as early Showa era.  The Comb measures almost 4 inches by 2.25 inches and is just over one eighth of an inch thick.  It is in very good condition with all the lacquer and shell work intact and perfect with just a little bit of wear to the tines which shows it has been used .  The Kogai, which is 6 and a half inches long and a little over half an inch wide at the ends tapering to a little over quarter of an inch in the middle is in good order but has lost some of the surface decoration at each end on one side due to handling in use. This vintage haircomb set is boxed in a faded orange red velvet case with cream fabric lining with red and green japanese writing within the lid and a small paper label on the back of the velvet box.  The box shows signs of its age and could only be described as fair condition, its use has preserved the comb set inside and it is a useful case for carrying and storing this vintage comb set.

JEWELLERY OR ACCESSORY DETAILS

Designer or Brand: None but has Artist's Signature

Country of Origin: Japan

Condition: Very Good

Decade: 1930s - 1940's Japanese Showa Era

Era: Vintage ( 1920s - 1980s)

Type: Hair Comb Set   -  Kogai and Kushi set  - Velvet Box

Material: Faux Tortoishell, Gold Lacquer, Abalone Shell, Wood



Originally, wearing hair accessories of this type was the prerogative of the wives of the Samurai, reflecting the strict feudal system which prevented those of a lower status from displaying such ornamentation.  As time went on however woman of all classes were allowed to adorn themselves.   However, hair ornaments were much more than mere accessories.  The comb progressed from a utilitarian object used in the feminine hair do to a highly decorative object.  The Japanese, with their inclination to beautify even ordinary every day objects, ensured that hair ornaments become artistic pieces on which craftsmen and artists used their imagination and skills.

£145.00
Japanese Hair Comb Set - Kushi and Kogai- Circa 1930s - 1940s Showa Period
Japanese Hair Comb Set - Kushi and Kogai- Circa 1930s - 1940s Showa Period Japanese Hair Comb Set - Kushi and Kogai- Circa 1930s - 1940s Showa Period Japanese Hair Comb Set - Kushi and Kogai- Circa 1930s - 1940s Showa Period Japanese Hair Comb Set - Kushi and Kogai- Circa 1930s - 1940s Showa Period

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