A Comb for Drying Hair


Sanskriti Museums

Sanskriti Museums
New Delhi, India

This unique brass comb used by women to dry the long tresses of their hair has a handle in the form of the goddess Saraswati standing in cross-legged position and playing the veena (her iconographic marker). Her head is flanked by two ornate peacocks. From her hair bun rise two spikes which are run through the wet tresses of hair by the user to untangle them and dry them as the breeze passes through them. The comb is just an extension of the fingers which are still used by the women for the same function.
A remarkable feature of this comb is that a goblet containing hair oil is attached below Saraswati’s feet. This is for the user to oil her hair after drying them. The variety and range of such pins that have been collected, especially from southern India, is simply astonishing.

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  • Title: A Comb for Drying Hair
  • Date Created: 1901/1930
  • Location: Southern India
  • Physical Dimensions: L 29.5 cm x W 6 cm
  • Rights: Text © Sanskriti Museum of Everyday Art/ Jyotindra Jain
  • Medium: Brass
  • Period: Early 20th Century