A wood pipe with bearded man
At first glance, this wooden tobacco pipe is reminiscent of a Jacob pipe, the popular tobacco pipe that was smoked by almost the entire French peasantry from 1860 onwards. Yet we have to see an independent design in this bearded pipe. Carved wooden pipes enjoyed a much higher status in the nineteenth century than clay figural pipes. That is why the images on wooden pipes do not refer to generally accepted items, because that would affect their status. Of course the design goes along with the fashion of the day with a love for exotic images in which especially men with beards and turbans scored. A clear difference in design, however, is that the beard is much shorter and runs out more strongly in two points, while the mustache of the man is many times larger than in the Jacob pipe. But also in the details we see that there is a different figure, for example the fact that the two tassels that Jacob wears standard on his turban are missing here, while two embroidered slips hang down from the turban that never occurs with the Jacob pipe. The finish of this pipe with a decoration of small silver nails on the turban also underlines the luxury of this object, together with the set glass eyes of course. The mounting with a twisted buffalo horn stem with a flexible part and button end also points to a more expensive item. As we know, the Jacob pipe was commony fitted with a cherry wood stem and a simple mouthpiece.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 17.143Permalink