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This is a comb. It is dated mid-19th century and we acquired it in 1926. Its medium is shaped, carved and pierced 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 bequest of Mrs. John Innes Kane. It is credited Bequest of Mrs. John Innes Kane.

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 14.5 x 18 cm (5 11/16 x 7 1/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Comb; shaped, carved and pierced tortoiseshell; H x W: 14.5 x 18 cm (5 11/16 x 7 1/16 in.); Bequest of Mrs. John Innes Kane; 1926-22-545

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Plastics.

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= |title=Comb |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>