Loading Spinner

Combs & Brushes

Combs and brushes have been used by cultures across the world from the Neolithic period to the present. Before 1800, most combs and brushes were made from organic materials, including broken seashells, tortoise shells, jagged stones, ivory, wood, and animal bones and hair.

In 1777, William Kent opened the first hairbrush factory in London, importing a wide variety of fine bristles from merchants across India and China. In 1854, Hugh Rock patented the first modern hair brush in the United States, and in 1898, Lyda A. Newman invented a synthetic hair brush with detachable handles and air chambers for ventilation. The addition of ventilation chambers was especially important because it allowed hair brushes to be used simultaneously with hair dryers to achieve increasingly complex and modern hair styles.

Most contemporary combs and hair brushes are made of plastic or a combination of plastic handles and nylon bristles. However, natural fibers continue to be prized for their delicacy and are still used to create high-end hair brushes.


Quick Facts

  • On June 6, 2015, the John Toomey Gallery sold a René Lalique hair comb with sea holly decoration made of horn, silver, gold, and glass for $205,500
  • Kent’s hairbrush factory, known today as Kent Brushes, made hundreds of thousands of brushes for English soldiers during the first World War
  • In addition to taming and styling locks, combs have also had the important historical role of removing lice from hair and beards

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

1930S DANISH 830 SILVER VANITY SET
Oct 09, 2:00 PM PDT
1930S DANISH 830 SILVER VANITY SET
by District Auction
Est: $50- $100
$251 Bid
Art Deco Celluloid Dresser Set
Oct 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Art Deco Celluloid Dresser Set
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
Silver Metal Peacock Comb
Oct 05, 10:00 PM EDT
Silver Metal Peacock Comb
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $40- $60
$250 Bids
Group of vintage brushes
Oct 11, 11:30 PM EDT
Group of vintage brushes
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $25- $30
$100 Bids
An iron and wood flax hetchel comb, Spain 19th - 20th Century
Oct 19, 6:30 PM CEST
An iron and wood flax hetchel comb, Spain 19th - 20th Century
by Bayeu Subastas
Est: €150- €200
€1500 Bids
Two silver travel combs, both engine tur
Oct 06, 10:00 AM BST
Two silver travel combs, both engine tur
by Kinghams Auctioneers
Est: £20- £40
£100 Bids
A Vintage Hide Away Metal Comb
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
A Vintage Hide Away Metal Comb
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
Archibald Knox for Liberty and Co., an A
Oct 06, 10:00 AM BST
Archibald Knox for Liberty and Co., an A
by Kinghams Auctioneers
Est: £60- £80
£350 Bids
Ornamental Hair comb
Oct 15, 3:00 PM UYT
Ornamental Hair comb
by Zorrilla Subastas
Est: $200- $300
$1700 Bids
Ornamental Hair comb
Oct 15, 3:00 PM UYT
Ornamental Hair comb
by Zorrilla Subastas
Est: $100- $200
$800 Bids
Ornamental Hair comb
Oct 15, 3:00 PM UYT
Ornamental Hair comb
by Zorrilla Subastas
Est: $80- $120
$700 Bids
Ornamental Hair comb
Oct 15, 3:00 PM UYT
Ornamental Hair comb
by Zorrilla Subastas
Est: $100- $200
$800 Bids
A Vintage English Blue Steel Comb Set
Oct 09, 1:00 PM EDT
A Vintage English Blue Steel Comb Set
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $30- $300
$300 Bids
HENRY WILSON (1864-1934) ARTS & CRAFTS HAIR COMB TERMINAL, CIRCA 1905
Oct 12, 10:00 AM BST
HENRY WILSON (1864-1934) ARTS & CRAFTS HAIR COMB TERMINAL, CIRCA 1905
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £1,500- £2,000
£7500 Bids
Lot of 3 Vanity Articles - Possibly 24Kt Gold Gilted
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
Lot of 3 Vanity Articles - Possibly 24Kt Gold Gilted
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $80- $800
$800 Bids
A Stratton Enamel and Lucite Comb
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
A Stratton Enamel and Lucite Comb
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
A Decorative Enamel on Metal Comb
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
A Decorative Enamel on Metal Comb
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
18k Yellow Gold and Diamond Comb
Nov 06, 10:00 AM PDT
18k Yellow Gold and Diamond Comb
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $1,000- $1,200
$8000 Bids
Vintage hair dressing kit by Remington Co
Oct 09, 11:30 PM EDT
Vintage hair dressing kit by Remington Co
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $35- $45
$200 Bids
YELLOW JADE CARVED 'BIRDS' HAIR COMB
Oct 29, 3:00 PM PDT
YELLOW JADE CARVED 'BIRDS' HAIR COMB
by Mega International Auction
Est: $600- $800
$4000 Bids
Hermann Bauer Frisierset
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CEST
Hermann Bauer Frisierset
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €80- €120
€800 Bids
An International Sterlinf and Tiger Skin Lucite Comb
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
An International Sterlinf and Tiger Skin Lucite Comb
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $80- $800
$800 Bids
Group of Six (6) Vintage Ladies Hair Combs
Oct 21, 6:00 PM EDT
Group of Six (6) Vintage Ladies Hair Combs
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $30- $60
$100 Bids
Amethyst-seed pearls-hair comb
Oct 27, 11:00 AM CEST
Amethyst-seed pearls-hair comb
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €350- €1,400
€3200 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Combs & Brushes


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Zorrilla Subastas

Zorrilla Subastas

Kinghams Auctioneers

Kinghams Auctioneers