Bust of George V
This briar tobacco pipe shows the bust of the English king George V. The concept, a head with a modest chest piece is characteristic for the pipe makers in Saint-Claude. They launched such portrait pipes as early as the 1870s and these remained popular until after the Second World War. The English George is shown here with a simple upstanding uniform collar, the chest piece itself is rather undefined. What makes the portrait look so realistic is that not only the personal traits are well-done, but especially the overall design of his head has been meticulously taken over. By copying the contours of the head three-dimensionally, some simple carving only needed to be added for the detailing. The advantage of this method was that the pipe could be fully preformed in a machine and the carver only had to align this products with a few retouches. Thanks to the signature on the tige, the wood part of the stem, we know that the maker is Charles Dessertines. He led one of the well-known workshops for figural pipes between 1910 and 1930. The additional mentioning ‘sculptor’ to the maker's name is proof that such pipes were sold as unique pieces of craftsmanship. It is, however, unmistakably a serial product whose sales were supported by the popularity of the British king. The mouthpiece is made of a blond buffalo horn, a widely used material at the time.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 17.357Permalink