Egyptian portrait in parian ware
The first thing you notice about this stub stemmed pipe is its special colour. The pipe is made of the so-called Parian ware, a type of porcelain with a biscuit-like appearance, the colour of which can be changed from white to pink, blue or green by adding oxides. That colouring is done extremely well here, full of beautiful shades. Depicted is a fantasy figure inspired by the pharaoh masks but adapted to the fashion of the day in which the Art Nouveau style resounds. Those who wanted a real historical portrait had to resort to other pipe designs. That the maker mastered the porcelain in a playfull manner is also shown by the pink rosette behind the portrait. Only a few lines of colours were added. Porcelain is not a pleasant material for smoking. Not surprisingly, this product also uses a hollow-walled system, a space between the outer shape and the inner bowl where the smoke can cool. Parian pipes have clearly been fashion items. They were made in large numbers for a short period and exist in a series of different designs. Yet their production did not continue. In addition to getting out of fashion, they were too large in bowl and too explicit in shape for most smokers.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 19.417Permalink