The use of combs as hair ornaments by the southern Attie was reported in the late 19th century, but they were rarely are seen being worn during ceremonies. Larger wooden combs were used in preparing the hair, so this comb was likely decorative.
The Attie are neighbors to the Baule, a group well-known for their art, and also for their ivory combs. Baule styles similar to this comb, crested with a rooster's head and containing metal eyes, have been published and archived. Although the Attie share similar iconography in their arts, it is possible that this comb is Baule. However, it was common for ivory finials to be rubbed w ith a red pigment, and this may be the case here, with the comb's ruddy, golden patina.
Ivory five tooth comb surmounted by a rooster head with inset copper eyes and cross hatch designs incised into the rectangular portion of the comb.
Mr. and Mrs. Edwin E. Hokin, Palm Beach, FL, -- to 1971