Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mastery of Design: An Ivory and Precious Stone Comb, 1906

The Victoria & Albert Museum
I’ve been collecting antique combs for quite some time and certainly wish I had this one. Made in 1906 by English designer Joseph Hodel, this comb is a msterpiece of ivory, mounted in silver and set with mother-of-pearl, sapphires, green stained chalcedony and a fire opal.
Joseph Hodel was a member of the Bromsgrove Guild and showed this comb at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 1906 in London. There, it was likely purchased by May Morris--the younger daughter of the artist and socialist William Morris. May Morris, also an artist was showing her own jewellery at the Exhibition and was drawn to the comb with its colourful cabochon-cut stones—typical of Arts and Crafts jewellery. 

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