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Comb, Peineta (Comb), 19th century

This is a comb. It is dated 19th century and we acquired it in 2018. Its medium is tortoiseshell. It is a part of the department.


This Cuban comb of molded and pierced tortoiseshell is related to the Spanish tradition of mantillas, shawls that covered the head and shoulders, held up by elaborate combs called peinetas. These combs were brought to Spanish-held territories in the 18th century, and were subsequently refashioned into hybrid objects inflected by local expression. By the 19th century, peinetas spread across Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, as well as the Southern Cone region of South America where they were transformed into intricately designed oversized high combs, which came to symbolize a woman's entrance into the publix sphere and her individual expression.

This object was donated by Monty Freeman. It is credited Gift of Belmont Freeman, for the family of Maria Magdalena Kjellesvig González de Freeman.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 26 × 23.5 × 3 cm (10 1/4 × 9 1/4 × 1 3/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Comb, Peineta (Comb), 19th century; tortoiseshell; H x W x D: 26 × 23.5 × 3 cm (10 1/4 × 9 1/4 × 1 3/16 in.); Gift of Belmont Freeman, for the family of Maria Magdalena Kjellesvig González de Freeman; 2018-41-1

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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/2318793362/ |title=Comb, Peineta (Comb), 19th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=2 December 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>