• Twenty rooms: The private coll auction at Christies

    Sale 2857

    Twenty rooms: The private collection of the late Mrs Elias-Vaes

    27 - 29 April 2010, Amsterdam

  • Lot 455

    TWO RECTANGULAR PIERCED BOXWOOD COMBS

    FRENCH, PROBABLY CIRCA 1500

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    TWO RECTANGULAR PIERCED BOXWOOD COMBS
    FRENCH, PROBABLY CIRCA 1500
    One with ivory elements
    19.5 x 12 cm. (2)


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    A related comb is in the Cloisters Collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York (inv.no.1982.357) and illustrated by Wixom.
    The tradition of using boxwood for combs is an ancient one and indeed the latin word for boxwood, buxum, also signifies comb. Wixom records how textual sources from the late Middle Ages show that a comb was a traditional marriage gift from a husband to a wife.
    Pinto illustrates a late fifteenth century or early sixteenth century comb which can be closely compared to the present example.

    Related literature:
    E.H. Pinto, Treen and other Wooden Bygones, London, 1969, fig. 381.
    W. Wixom, Mirror of the Medieval World, New York, 1999, p. 211, no. 259.
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the end of the Middle Ages, New York, 1975, p. 94, ill. no. 107a-b.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €20,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €20,001 and €800.000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €800.000. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.