Hunting scene in antler
A wonderful and quite factitious pipe is this specimen made from deer antlers. The pipe bowl is carved from a single piece that sits in the red deer antler between the rose or the attachment of the antler and the first branch. This piece of deer horn offers a natural place for the pipe bowl and the attachment for the pipe stem. The surface of the antlers can be cut and this creates a scene with a beautiful contrast. When the carved decoration is subsequently polished, it even looks like appliques made of ivory. The theme of this pipe bowl is hunting, with a deer in the center, surrounded by hunting dogs. On both sides of the pipe bowl hunters are shown on horseback, with a whip in hand they drive up the game. Not very sportif, both hunters are wearing top-hats. The lid on the pipe bowl is also a crown piece of an antler, on which a sleeping hunting dog has been carved on the top. With a silver mounting, this lid is attached to the pipe bowl, along the edge with a fence by way of air inlet. The stem is also made of stag horn with an appropriate Diana on the top, goddess of the hunt with a hunting dog to her right. However, the mouthpiece of the pipe is buffalo horn, because stag horn is too hard and therefore unpleasant to hold between the teeth. The production of such curious pipes is said to have taken place in Meiningen in Thuringia. Gunpowder horns and all kinds of boxes of deer antlers have been made there for centuries. In the nineteenth century the tobacco pipe was added to their assortment as a new item, especially those with hunting-related subjects such as this one. Incidentally, the tobacco pipe of antler has not become a general article, they were too expensive for that and the design too extreme. Moreover, the material is heavy and not comfortable to hold. That production, however, achieved a high degree of refinement may be clear with this pipe.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 17.115Permalink