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Combs and Case

Arts of the Americas

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830
Fabricated from local tortoiseshell, these exceptional objects were produced to serve as mementos or souvenirs of time spent in Jamaica by wealthy landowners. The tortoiseshell is embellished with engraved floral motifs derived from contemporary European prints or textiles. The small cabinet is further decorated with small silver drawer pulls cast in the shape of busts of enslaved Africans. Intended for European consumption, these objects also serve as a reminder that their owners’ wealth was the result of enslaved labor.
MEDIUM Tortoise shell
DATES 1672
DIMENSIONS a, case: 6 1/16 x 3 7/8 x 7/16 in. (15.4 x 9.8 x 1.1 cm) b, fine double-sided comb: 6 3/16 x 3 7/16 x 1/16 in. (15.7 x 8.7 x 0.2 cm) c, coarse comb: 5 9/16 x 3 7/16 x 1/8 in. (14.1 x 8.7 x 0.3 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS Engraved on front of case: "JAMAICA 1672".
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
ACCESSION NUMBER 47.116.2a-c
CREDIT LINE Carll H. de Silver Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Combs and Case, 1672. Tortoise shell, a, case: 6 1/16 x 3 7/8 x 7/16 in. (15.4 x 9.8 x 1.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 47.116.2a-c. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 47.116.2a-c_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 47.116.2a-c_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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 <em>Combs and Case</em>, 1672. Tortoise shell, a, case: 6 1/16 x 3 7/8 x 7/16 in. (15.4 x 9.8 x 1.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 47.116.2a-c. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 47.116.2a-c_PS6.jpg)