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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Wood combs

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  • Kristine Elliott
    ... I was talking to John Huff of Indigo Hounds and he indiciated that there more than the two types of wool combs available in the Middle Ages; that the combs
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 21, 2007
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      On 4/15/07, Beth and Bob Matney <bmatney@...> wrote:
      >
      > The classic work on this with directions for making one is:
      > Teal, Peter. Hand Woolcombing and Spinning: A Guide to Worsteds from
      > the Spinning-Wheel. Poole: Blandford Press, 1976. This one is very
      > similar to medieval examples.
      >
      > It is readily available (3 public libraries in Arkansas have a copy, as do I).
      >
      > I have examples in archaeology reports and photographs from visits to
      > museums as well. There are two main patterns from early
      > SCA period... the Scandinavian and the Anglo-Saxon. Roman were quite
      > different.
      >
      > THL Beth of Walnutvale (Barony of Small Gray Bear)
      >

      I was talking to John Huff of Indigo Hounds and he indiciated that
      there more than the two types of wool combs available in the Middle
      Ages; that the combs found in York, England were different than the
      "Viking combs" he modelled his original Viking combs after. And the
      wool combs depicted on Chartres Cathedral from the early 13th century
      are different, than either. I suspect wool combs came in a lot of
      regional styles that we don't have the data to recognize today.

      Scolastica

      --
      http://www.geocities.com/souriete/

      If you can't get rid of them ugly old skeletons in the closet, at least teach
      'em how to dance funny. Billy C. Wirtz
    • Mike
      I ve seen replys talking about wool combs and am unfamiliar with the pictures you are refering to......are you indeed asking about wool comb or wood hair
      Message 2 of 11 , Apr 21, 2007
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        I've seen replys talking about wool combs and am unfamiliar with the
        pictures you are refering to......are you indeed asking about wool
        comb or wood hair combs?

        Miguel




        --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Frederick Alton"
        <fzeiler@...> wrote:
        >
        > Greetings unto the list,
        >
        > Master Terafan Greydragon has some pictures of some wood combs. I
        have email
        > him but he is out of state for a while.
        > I was wondering if anyone has any more information on them. Size,
        type of
        > wood, thickness and any thoing else that would relate to combs of
        that era.
        >
        > Thanks in advance,
        >
        > THL Frederick Alton
        > Gleann Abhann
        >
      • Beth and Bob Matney
        Wool combs are used for combing wool.. primarily long staple (fiber). This was the primary method of preparing wool for spinning in early period. Wool cards
        Message 3 of 11 , Apr 21, 2007
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          Wool combs are used for combing wool.. primarily long staple (fiber).
          This was the primary method of preparing wool for spinning in early
          period. Wool cards with numerous small hooked teeth were not used
          until later when "woolens"... as opposed to "worsteds"... were dominant.

          Roman were iron plates with teeth (no handles). early period
          Scandinavian were primarily a single row of iron teeth set in a wood
          base (usually cylindrical) with handle from the middle (at right
          angles). Anglo-Saxon were usually 2 rows set in a flat rectangular
          base with handle from the middle (at right angles). Later more rows
          of teeth were added and the teeth became longer over time. Some had
          the head reinforced with sheet metal or horn.

          Many teeth survive without the handle but are frequently confused
          with those from a linen tool in the archaeology reports (particularly
          in earlier reports).

          Beth

          At 05:46 PM 4/21/2007, you wrote:
          >I've seen replys talking about wool combs and am unfamiliar with the
          >pictures you are refering to......are you indeed asking about wool
          >comb or wood hair combs?
          >
          >Miguel
        • Beth and Bob Matney
          Hi Scolastica, Yes, lots of variations over time and region in the archaeology. I don t know of a study that organizes that data (you probably are aware of
          Message 4 of 11 , Apr 21, 2007
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            Hi Scolastica,

            Yes, lots of variations over time and region in the archaeology. I
            don't know of a study that organizes that data (you probably are
            aware of more than I).

            Beth

            At 01:50 PM 4/21/2007, you wrote:
            >I was talking to John Huff of Indigo Hounds and he indiciated that
            >there more than the two types of wool combs available in the Middle
            >Ages; that the combs found in York, England were different than the
            >"Viking combs" he modelled his original Viking combs after. And the
            >wool combs depicted on Chartres Cathedral from the early 13th century
            >are different, than either. I suspect wool combs came in a lot of
            >regional styles that we don't have the data to recognize today.
            >
            >Scolastica
          • Eric
            Although the answers about wool combs are interesting, I believe that the original post in this thread was about wood combs. I thought that the question was
            Message 5 of 11 , Apr 21, 2007
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              Although the answers about wool combs are interesting, I believe
              that the original post in this thread was about wood combs. I
              thought that the question was related to personal grooming tools,
              not textile processing tools.

              I could be wrong, the original post could have been a typo...

              YIS,
              Eirikr Mjoksiglandi
              Ashgrove, Barony of Angels, Caid

              --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Beth and Bob Matney
              <bmatney@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Scolastica,
              >
              > Yes, lots of variations over time and region in the archaeology. I
              > don't know of a study that organizes that data (you probably are
              > aware of more than I).
              >
              > Beth
              >
              > At 01:50 PM 4/21/2007, you wrote:
              > >I was talking to John Huff of Indigo Hounds and he indiciated that
              > >there more than the two types of wool combs available...> >
              > >Scolastica
              >
            • Beth and Bob Matney
              Duh! you are absolutely correct. I read the original question wrong. The only book that I am aware of devoted entirely to combs from archaeology is Smirnova,
              Message 6 of 11 , Apr 22, 2007
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                Duh! you are absolutely correct. I read the original question wrong.

                The only book that I am aware of devoted entirely to combs from archaeology is

                Smirnova, L. I. Comb-Making in Medieval Novgorod (950-1450): An
                Industry in Transition. BAR international series, 1369. Oxford:
                Archaeopress, 2005. ISBN: 1841718114 OCLC: 60836674
                334p, b/w figs. Additional data is presented on a CD. I do not have a
                copy, but do not believe that there are any wooden examples in it.

                There is also a CDRom of images available
                Viking and Medieval combs by Dan Carlson. ArkeoDok CDRom (2002) ISBN 9197330442

                I have seen examples in museums, but they were much rarer than bone
                or antler. Possibly this was due to survival conditions in archaeology.

                Beth

                At 12:02 AM 4/22/2007, you wrote:
                >Although the answers about wool combs are interesting, I believe
                >that the original post in this thread was about wood combs. I
                >thought that the question was related to personal grooming tools,
                >not textile processing tools.
                >
                >I could be wrong, the original post could have been a typo...
                >
                >YIS,
                >Eirikr Mjoksiglandi
                >Ashgrove, Barony of Angels, Caid
              • Beth and Bob Matney
                Wood combs are illustrated and mentioned in Earwood, Caroline. Domestic Wooden Artefacts in Britain and Ireland from Neolithic to Viking Times. Exeter:
                Message 7 of 11 , Apr 22, 2007
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                  Wood combs are illustrated and mentioned in
                  Earwood, Caroline. Domestic Wooden Artefacts in Britain and Ireland
                  from Neolithic to Viking Times. Exeter: University of Exeter Press,
                  1993. mentioned pp119, illus pp. 120

                  P. 119:
                  "some domestic implements, such as combs and needles, were not often
                  made in wood as there were other, more suitable materials available
                  including bone and antler"...."Double sided combs were used on many
                  Roman settlements such as London (Chapman, 1980, 130; Weeks and
                  Rhodes 1986, 230), Porchester (Cunliffe 1975, 261-2) and Exeter
                  (Earwood 1991a, 275-6). Outside Roman Britain and during post-Roman
                  period both double-sided and single-sided wooden combs were used,
                  with finds recorded from both Ireland (Macalister, Armstrong and
                  Praeger 1916) and Scotland (Munro 1882, fig 27)."

                  The only ones with type of wood specified are of Buxus sempervirens
                  (p 274. 284, 289)

                  In medieval Novgorod, they were common finds (299 in the Nerevsky
                  excavations) pp137-139
                  The ranged from 7-9 cm in length, breadth 7-10 cm, thickness at
                  central parts at .9-1.4 cm. Number of thick teeth 15-22 and thin 45-82.

                  82 from boxwood (97%), 1 each of pine, birch and willow from Nerevsky
                  (p. 139) of the 14th C. finds 44% were boxwood.

                  Vol 2 p306 (plate 61) illustrates types and distribution. Photographs
                  p 381 (plate 136)

                  Kolchin, Boris Aleksandrovich, and A. V. Chernet s ov. Wooden
                  Artefacts from Medieval Novgorod. BAR international series, 495.
                  Oxford, England: B.A.R., 1989.

                  Hope this helps.
                  Beth
                • Kristine Elliott
                  The varieties of wool combs of the Middle Ages is just something I noted as I went along to be a subject that looks like it could do with a closer, more
                  Message 8 of 11 , Apr 23, 2007
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                    The varieties of wool combs of the Middle Ages is just something I
                    noted as I went along to be a subject that looks like it could do with
                    a closer, more analytical look. AFAIK no one has undertaken to study
                    all the varieties found or depicted. I could be wrong, of course.

                    It isn't something I expect to have the time to do. (Ask me about my
                    other research projects, no don't -- I'll bore you to death.)

                    Scolastica


                    On 4/21/07, Beth and Bob Matney <bmatney@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Scolastica,
                    >
                    > Yes, lots of variations over time and region in the archaeology. I
                    > don't know of a study that organizes that data (you probably are
                    > aware of more than I).
                    >
                    > Beth
                    >
                    > At 01:50 PM 4/21/2007, you wrote:
                    > >I was talking to John Huff of Indigo Hounds and he indiciated that
                    > >there more than the two types of wool combs available in the Middle
                    > >Ages; that the combs found in York, England were different than the
                    > >"Viking combs" he modelled his original Viking combs after. And the
                    > >wool combs depicted on Chartres Cathedral from the early 13th century
                    > >are different, than either. I suspect wool combs came in a lot of
                    > >regional styles that we don't have the data to recognize today.
                    > >
                    > >Scolastica
                    >
                    >



                    --
                    http://www.geocities.com/souriete/

                    If you can't get rid of them ugly old skeletons in the closet, at least teach
                    'em how to dance funny. Billy C. Wirtz
                  • windsingersmoon
                    I ve had a steadily growing file on the subject of period combs (both for hair and for textile use) for over 10 years now, maybe 15 or more....it s just one of
                    Message 9 of 11 , Apr 23, 2007
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                      I've had a steadily growing file on the subject of period combs (both
                      for hair and for textile use) for over 10 years now, maybe 15 or
                      more....it's just one of those things I took a fancy to searching out
                      and making a file of,.......Facinating subject !!!! I've replicated
                      over a dozen different ones over the course of time. Sold or traded
                      a few, but kept one of each one I made.

                      Master Vortigern/Crafty Celt has one of mine,....we made a great
                      trade some years back, he even offered to carry my combs on a
                      commission basis if I was interested, or buy them outright, if we
                      could agree on a price,.......but since I wasn't interested in
                      seriously becoming a merchant, I passed on the first, and since my
                      price on the few I'd done, was based totally on my time, per hour of
                      work with hand tools, I couldn't come down....

                      But I was delighted with the trade and honored at being asked.
                      Shara


                      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Kristine Elliott"
                      <souriete@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > The varieties of wool combs of the Middle Ages is just something I
                      > noted as I went along to be a subject that looks like it could do
                      with
                      > a closer, more analytical look. AFAIK no one has undertaken to study
                      > all the varieties found or depicted. I could be wrong, of course.
                      >
                      > It isn't something I expect to have the time to do. (Ask me about my
                      > other research projects, no don't -- I'll bore you to death.)
                      >
                      > Scolastica
                      >
                      >
                      > On 4/21/07, Beth and Bob Matney <bmatney@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Hi Scolastica,
                      > >
                      > > Yes, lots of variations over time and region in the archaeology.
                      I
                      > > don't know of a study that organizes that data (you probably are
                      > > aware of more than I).
                      > >
                      > > Beth
                      > >
                      > > At 01:50 PM 4/21/2007, you wrote:
                      > > >I was talking to John Huff of Indigo Hounds and he indiciated
                      that
                      > > >there more than the two types of wool combs available in the
                      Middle
                      > > >Ages; that the combs found in York, England were different than
                      the
                      > > >"Viking combs" he modelled his original Viking combs after. And
                      the
                      > > >wool combs depicted on Chartres Cathedral from the early 13th
                      century
                      > > >are different, than either. I suspect wool combs came in a lot
                      of
                      > > >regional styles that we don't have the data to recognize today.
                      > > >
                      > > >Scolastica
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --
                      > http://www.geocities.com/souriete/
                      >
                      > If you can't get rid of them ugly old skeletons in the closet, at
                      least teach
                      > 'em how to dance funny. Billy C. Wirtz
                      >
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