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How do you tell the difference between a vintage/antique hairbrush & a clothes brush?

Anthony Jordan

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With difficulty, I should think...

The only indicator that I can think of is that the oval "Army" style brush, especially in a pair, will certainly be for hair. I suspect that smaller club-handled brushes, especially in silver or horn, would also be for hair, whilst larger ones, especially in wood or having additional tufts on the back of the brush are likely to be clothes brushes. I'm not sure about the narrow rectangular brushes one sometimes sees, although I see that Kent offers one, in wood, as a travel clothes brush.
 

Cary Grant

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Originally Posted by Anthony Jordan
I'm not convinced - the oval or square hand sized hair brush is a classic; the silver one could easily be a dressing table model.

I'm judging by the bristles. Hard to say when it's 100 years old but those softer/denser bristles say clothes to me.
 

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