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

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LOT OF BATHROOM ITEMS
Oct 17, 12:00 PM EDT
LOT OF BATHROOM ITEMS
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$65 Bids
Two Victorian Hair Combs
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Two Victorian Hair Combs
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $80- $185
$251 Bid
Flat of Misc. Mani/Pedi Items
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CDT
Flat of Misc. Mani/Pedi Items
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
Flat of Misc. Mani/Pedi Items
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CDT
Flat of Misc. Mani/Pedi Items
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
Silver Metal Peacock Comb
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
Silver Metal Peacock Comb
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $40- $60
$250 Bids
French Gilt Bronze & Enamel Portrait Hair Brush
Oct 17, 10:00 AM PDT
French Gilt Bronze & Enamel Portrait Hair Brush
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $250- $300
$2000 Bids
Silbernes Toiletten-Set. Hermann Bauer.
Oct 29, 9:00 AM CEST
Silbernes Toiletten-Set. Hermann Bauer.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€200 Bids
An antique fourteen karat gold and metal vanity set, J.E. Caldwell & Co.
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
An antique fourteen karat gold and metal vanity set, J.E. Caldwell & Co.
by Freeman's
Est: $5,000- $7,000
$2,6000 Bids
Konvolut 6x Elfenbein.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM CEST
Konvolut 6x Elfenbein.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€200 Bids
Konvolut 4 Bürsten.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM CEST
Konvolut 4 Bürsten.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€200 Bids
A Wood Inlay Victorian Vanity Set
Oct 16, 1:00 PM EDT
A Wood Inlay Victorian Vanity Set
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
Lot of 2 Brushes - A Rare Decoater Tooth Brush
Oct 16, 1:00 PM EDT
Lot of 2 Brushes - A Rare Decoater Tooth Brush
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $125- $1,250
$1250 Bids
A Faux Tortoise Shell Hair Piece
Oct 16, 1:00 PM EDT
A Faux Tortoise Shell Hair Piece
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $40- $400
$400 Bids
A Celluloid Brush
Oct 16, 1:00 PM EDT
A Celluloid Brush
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids
A Vintage English Blue Steel Comb Set
Oct 17, 1:00 PM EDT
A Vintage English Blue Steel Comb Set
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $30- $300
$300 Bids
A Vintage Hair Brush
Oct 16, 1:00 PM EDT
A Vintage Hair Brush
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $10- $100
$100 Bids
A Vintage Hide Away Metal Comb
Oct 17, 1:00 PM EDT
A Vintage Hide Away Metal Comb
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
A Vintage Lumarith Comb
Oct 17, 1:00 PM EDT
A Vintage Lumarith Comb
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $15- $150
$150 Bids
A Stratton Enamel and Lucite Comb
Oct 17, 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 17, 1:00 PM EDT
A Decorative Enamel on Metal Comb
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
ARGENTERIA FIORI
Oct 27, 2:30 PM CEST
ARGENTERIA FIORI
by Aste Boetto SRL
Est: €600- €700
€6000 Bids
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4 tg. Friesierset, Silber-835-
Oct 30, 11:00 AM CEST
4 tg. Friesierset, Silber-835-
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€800 Bids
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einzelner Handspiegel, Silber-800-
Oct 30, 11:00 AM CEST
einzelner Handspiegel, Silber-800-
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€200 Bids
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Handspiegel und Bürste, Silber-830-
Oct 30, 11:00 AM CEST
Handspiegel und Bürste, Silber-830-
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Combs & Brushes


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

McCurley Auction Company

McCurley Auction Company

Auktionshaus Wendl

Auktionshaus Wendl

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven