Acquisitions to impress

Don Duco

Original Title:
Aanwinsten om te imponeren

Publication Year:

Stichting Pijpenkabinet

Nieuwsbrief Pijpenkabinet

Discussion of a large carved meerschaum tobacco pipe with a battle scene and a series of hand carved briar pipes with faces for the Pijpenkabinet in Amsterdam.

Giant meerschaum pipe

Fig. 1a. APM 17.550
Fig. 1b. APM 17.550
Fig. 1c. APM 17.550
Fig. 1d. APM 17.550
Fig. 1e. APM 17.550

Last spring the collection of the Pijpenkabinet museum in Amsterdam was enriched with an exceptionally luxurious and large tobacco pipe of meerschaum. The bowl of this showpiece has a height of no less than 23 centimetres and shows a carved scene of a bloody battle in which sixteen soldiers surround an Arab on a rearing horse, the chest pierced with a dagger.

The pipe has a solid silver, partly gilded mounting with multi-facetted edge with engraving and a beautifully worked silver hinged cover. The lid itself has the shape of a ten-sided crown with gilded panels on which standing knights in silver. The domed centre of the crown has a pointed silhouette rising above the panels.

With its solid shape and transparent lid, this showpiece has been a masterpiece among the smoking equipment of a German nobleman, since the origin is German rather than Austrian or Hungarian. The date is between 1870 and 1885.

Amsterdam, Pijpenkabinet collections Pk 17.550

Choice from the Kaye collection

Fig. 2. APM 17.555
Fig. 3. APM 17.562
Fig. 4. APM 17.572
Fig. 5. APM 17.568
Fig. 6. APM 17.585
Fig. 7. APM 17.578
Fig. 8. APM 17.584

Allan Kaye is a pipe smoker and together with his wife Angela they are collectors of wood sculptures. From 1970 to 1985 they have collected pipes in a most unusual way. They commissioned numerous American and Canadian woodcarvers to create special briar pipes. In doing so, they always allowed the artist the freedom to choose his own theme and carve it in their specific style. So every maker devised a figuration that was important to him or her. The bowls of the briar pipes ended up as animals, Indians, portraits of men and women. From this special collection of Kaye we bought several copies a few years ago, which are included in our permanent presentation. Now the opportunity arose to take over the entire collection. From this group we have selected over fifty of the most remarkable and most successful specimen for our museum collection. Some examples you can see here. A few other pipes are for sale in Smokiana Pipeshop.

 Amsterdam, Pijpenkabinet collection Pk 17.551 - 17.603



2.  Striking representation of a bird's head with sharp curved beak. Stanley Jarka, Bricktown, New Jersey, 1975-1980.

3.  Rustic version of a boar surrounded by leaves. Dave Sabol, Connecticut, USA, 1975-1980.

4.  Head of a bear as a free sculpture, a twisted acrylic stem directly attached without a shank. Denys Heppel, St.Jean Port Joli, Cananda, 1975-1980.

5.  Around the pipe bowl four intertwined human faces. Stanley Jarka, Bricktown, New Jersey, 1975-1985.

6.  Man's head with cap with flap. Conrad Ovellet, St.Jean Port-Joli, Canada, 1984.

7.  Bearded head of Moses depicted with small horns. Stanley Jarka, Bricktown, New Jersey, 1975-1980.

8.  Unusual portrait pipe of a man with glasses. Conrad Ovellet, St.Jean Port-Joli, Canada, 1975-1980.


© D.H. Duco, Pijpenkabinet Foundation, Amsterdam - the Netherlands, 2005.