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Object Timeline

1993

  • We acquired this object.

2015

2019

2021

  • You found it!

Comb Comb

This is a comb. It is dated 19th century and we acquired it in 1993. Its medium is tortoiseshell. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Tortoiseshell as a material tells the story of global interconnectedness and trade. Obtained mainly from Hawksbill turtles from the Caribbean Sea, by the 19th century, when this intricately carved comb was made, the turtles were hunted and the shells exported to artisans and workshops in the Americas, Europe, and as far away as China.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled The Tortoise In The Hair.

This object was donated by Mrs. John B. Hendry and Mrs. Owen E. Robinson. It is credited Gift of Mrs. Owen E. Robinson and Mrs. John B. Hendry in memory of Mrs. John A. Logan.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 16 × 14.5 cm (6 5/16 × 5 11/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Comb Comb; possibly France; tortoiseshell; H x W: 16 × 14.5 cm (6 5/16 × 5 11/16 in.); Gift of Mrs. Owen E. Robinson and Mrs. John B. Hendry in memory of Mrs. John A. Logan; 1993-68-49

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-4.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18646721/ |title=Comb Comb |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 December 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>