A wide range of hair ornaments

There is a wide range of ornaments, the diversity of which relates to their size (from ostentatious to modest), their mode of attachment to the hair, their material

They also depend on the social identity of the person who wore them, the influences of fashion and art movements (Art Nouveau, for example) and many other elements...

Some combs may be longer than 20 inches, others do not exceed one or two.

Grooming combs or pocket combs

Even if the grooming comb is not made for adorning hair, it must be mentioned because it is essential for preparing the coiffure. It is the first step of hair embellishment. It is therefore part of the comb family! We are going to see that it is not without interest.

Pocket combs are surprising too and are often rather funny.

Ornamental combs

The ornamental comb maintains the hairstyle, but it is mainly used to embellish it. Figurative or not, precious or small, it always has some interest. In the nineteenth century in Europe, the heading is hinged to be worn as a tiara or to be folded on a bun.

Pins, barrettes, headbands or bandeaux help to hold the hair while embellishing it.

Rings, hair brooches and cover braids are strictly ornamental, and most traditionally worn in Africa or India.

Sacred or transcendent ornaments

Some ornaments (because they have both spiritual and political meaning) are reserved for people of high rank in society.

For example tiaras, originally, were the headdress of Popes. They could also be a semi-circular crown, with a high triangular front, generally decorated with jewelry. This was the favorite ornament for women in the Court of Tzars. Chinese aristocrats and scholars also used to wear heavy jade tiaras. In Christian churches (particularly in Spain) a tiara often crowns the head of the Virgin.

Crowns, being a symbol of royalty, are similarly sacred. The circular shape indicates perfection and celestial belonging. Their peaks often decorated with precious stones are supposed to capture unearthly forces.

Diadems are less valuable and are worn at the front of the head. A diadem, or a crown on a bride's head, serves to more firmly establish her union before God.

Toilet comb, ivory. U.K. 19th c.
Pocket comb, celluloïd, silver. Germany, 1930
Ornamental comb, celluloid, USA, 1920
Figurative hairpin, tortoiseshell, USA, 1890
Hinged comb. France, mid. 19th c.
Diadem comb, Tortoiseshell. France, 1880
Hairpick. France, 19th c.
Japanese kanzashi. Early 20th c.
Barrettes and comb, celluloid, France, 1920
Head-band, tortoiseshell. France 1930
Silk bandeau. China, late 19th c.
Decorative brooch, silver. Afghanistan, 20th c.
Decorative rings. Sahel, 20th c.
Cover braid, silver and beads. India, 1950
Diadem. Aluminium. France, 1920
Well-read man tiara, jade. China, 19th c.
Crown, cut glass. Europe, early 20th c
Wedding crown. Sweden, 1966