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Combs and Case

Arts of the Americas

Shortly after Britain seized Jamaica from Spain in 1655, local workshops began manufacturing two uniquely Caribbean types of decorative art objects: costly tortoiseshell boxes and comb sets. These luxury goods were typically made for a British market as either souvenirs or exotic gifts from the islands. They were often engraved with Jamaica’s new coat of arms, which included an indigenous Arawak man and woman (see illustration), and evocations of the island’s abundant natural resources.

Poco después de que los ingleses incautaran Jamaica a España en 1655, los talleres locales comenzaron a producir dos tipos de objetos decorativos únicos del Caribe: costosas cajas de carey y juegos de peines. Estos bienes de lujo se fabricaban generalmente para el mercado británico como recuerdos de viajes o regalos exóticos de las islas. Frecuentemente se grababan con el nuevo escudo de armas de Jamaica, que incluía un hombre y una mujer indígenas arawak (ver ilustración) e ilustraciones de los abundantes recursos naturales de las islas.
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
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Carll H. de Silver Fund
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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
IMAGE overall, 47.116.2a-c_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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Combs and Case