This is a wonderful set of Japanese bridal kanzashi (hair ornaments) from the Meiji to Taisho period, late 1800s to early 1900s, made out of tortoise shells. We assume that this kanzashi was decorated with the auspicious emblem, a phoenix bird in paulownia tree, with some elements (leaves, flowers and birds) altered to the family of the bride. It has an aura of nobility and power. The family crest on the box is three ivy leaves. There is always a chance that the box may not be original but the characters (Kyoto) inside of the hand marked seal (located on the reverse side of the lid) is written from right to left - pre WWII. The foliage of Japanese ivy, which has an identical shape to a maple leaf, changes color from green to red during autumn before withering away in winter just as maple leaves. They were admired for their beauty from early on and used as a motif to decorate clothes, furnishings and wagons of the aristocracy during the Heian period (794-1185). They were later admired for their strength to cling by the samurai and were displayed on flags and banners on the battlefield. It added prestige and became one of the most popular family crests after the 8th Tokugawa shogun of the Edo period. The 8th shogun Yoshimune was chosen from the Matsudaira family of the Gosanke (the three closest families to the mainline of Tokugawa shogun) and his family crest was three ivy leaves instead of the three aoi (hollyhock) leaves of Tokugawa.
This kanzashi set went through a full cleaning and repair (two decorative pieces broke off during shipment). A record of the damage and repairs, along with existing bug bites, will be clearly said/shown before it is sold.
#1 stick: 1/4" wide x 9" 1.5/16" long - excellent condition, one ivy leaf (or paulownia?) and a small stopper (with a string) missing.
#2 hairpin: 7 1/4" long – condition is better than #3
#3 hairpin: 8 1/4" long - some insect damage as shown in the photos, slightly twisted at the end.
#4: 3 1/2" long x 1 11/16" wide - thicker on one end, damage in teeth area.
#5: 4 3/8” long x 5/16” wide - at the shoulder, some damages.
#6 and #7: 6 1/16” long x 5/8” wide - at the widest, very little damage.