Skip Navigation

Hair Brush

Decorative Arts

These two objects were probably parts of elaborate dressing table sets that included a handheld brush, mirror, combs, small boxes, and other accessories. When the hairbrush was made, the French Art Nouveau style was new and considered avant-garde. The dense, curvilinear floral design and the female head with long, curling tresses are characteristic of that style. A generation later, this taste for curvilinear naturalism was supplanted by the French Art Moderne (or Art Deco) style of the hand mirror. Here, nature is still invoked in the decoration, but it is rendered in a more schematic, hard-edged manner that appears more modern today.
CULTURE American
MEDIUM Silver
  • Place Manufactured: United States
  • DATES ca. 1900
    DIMENSIONS 2 x 4 x 9 in. (5.1 x 10.2 x 22.9 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Marked on side of body: "STERLING"
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 67.23
    CREDIT LINE H. Randolph Lever Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

    Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION American. Hair Brush, ca. 1900. Silver, 2 x 4 x 9 in. (5.1 x 10.2 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, H. Randolph Lever Fund, 67.23. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 67.23_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Silver hair brush with bristles and beech backing; Art Nouveau style. Oval body with bristles raking out at considerable angle; handle with narrow neck; expands into modified tear-drop shape. Repoussé design on top of brush consists of woman's head surmounting a triangular panel outlined by zigzag lines; surrounded by realistic flowers. There are also flowers in the woman's hair; these flowers continue with repoussé lines down the neck of the brush and into the handle. CONDITION: Minor break on edges of silver on top, about 5 inches from end of handle.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (84%)
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.