Acquisition in black bamboo
19 March 2021
This impractical tobacco pipe was recently acquired for our collection along with several other Asian smoking objects. The pipe bowl is carved like a dragon’s head in which a small metal pipe-bowl is placed. Metal, because in China it is customary to smoke from this material. The stem of the pipe is formed by a piece of rustic bamboo with a whimsical shape like the moving body of the dragon. Such errors of nature are extremely popular with the Chinese for use as a work of art or an implement. Despite the wonderful shape, the pipe has been used for a long time, as evidenced by the smoke traces in the bowl. Not a curiosity, but a serious tobacco pipe that has given smoking pleasure for years and even prestige to the smoker.