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This fine example of an early comb from the Teke people of the Congo comprises long wooden teeth held together by rattan finely woven into geometric patterns above a brief border of woven twine.
A related example is illustrated in van Cutsem (2005,p. 52). Other examples in the Art Institute of Chicago and attributed to the mid- to late-19th century are illustrated in Bickford Berzock & Clarke (2005, p. 152).
The example here has clear age, a fine patina and the most minimal loss. It is a superb example.
Bickford Berzock, K. & C. Clarke, Representing Africa in American Art Museums: A Century of Collecting and Display, University of Washington Press, 2010.
van Cutsem, A., A World of Head Ornaments: Africa, Asia Oceania, America, Skira, 2005.