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from Orkney

Postcard of Comb.
© National Museums Scotland


This bone comb with brass rivets was found in Orkney. It dates from between 1100 and 1400.

The double-sided comb consists of plates of bone cut into teeth, riveted together between two connecting plates on either side in the middle. The teeth on one side are finer than the other. The comb is decorated with concentric circles at each corner.

Combs are known in Scotland from the last few centuries BC onwards. Larger combs, for head hair, were used not only as grooming tools but also for de-lousing. Miniature combs were probably used for grooming facial hair.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-824-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.GA 42
Date: Between 1100 and 1400
Material: Bone; double-edged; rib attached with brass rivets and ornamented with concentric circles at each corner
Dimensions: 3.25" x 1.50"
What: Comb, hair
Where: Scotland, Orkney
Description: Double-sided, composite bone hair comb with rib ornamented with concentric circles at each corner, from Orkney
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