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The Comb
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"The Comb" surveys the wide spectrum of the subject from ancient cultures to the twentieth century. The principal materials together with the combmaker's craft are described, up to and including the important plastics developed since the mid-nineteenth century. There are brief descriptions of the decorative elements that further embellish combs, together with a comprehensive glossary of terms associated with the subject. The book elaborates on the use of combs as articles of grooming and dressing, on ornamental combs as costume accessories, and on combs which have had specific purposes at various points in history such as those used within a liturgical setting.A short section also refers to combs depicted in paintings and stained glass, on family shields and tombstones, and on ceramics and textiles. Global in content, the study illustrates the comb as a personal possession with the context of widely differing cultures. The author has drawn on the knowledge, expertise and experience of other collectors and scholars which, together with the results from her own original research, form a wide-ranging reference book to fascinate and beguile anyone interested in the many facets of the subject.
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About the Author

Jen Cruse was born and educated in Dublin in Ireland before moving to England where she trained and practised as a nurse, midwife and health visitor. Through an aunt of her husband she inherited two Art Nouveau combs in 1978. Intrigued by the beauty of the objects, she set out to discover more about them but soon found that very little had been written on the subject. From the mid 1980s onwards she began to acquire an extensive comb collection, compiling information from numerous sources, learning about the materials from which combs were made and their methods of manufacture. Her personal collection consists of over 1,500 combs, both decorative and utilitarian, the oldest dating from the second century BC.

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