Two smokers immortalized
When this striking wall plate was painted in the 1920s, the habit of smoking had changed dramatically. In the nineteenth century the cigar made its entree and the sophisticated pipe smoker switched to this new way of smoking. This change is expresses by this illustration: a younger man with a cigar, an older man with a tobacco pipe, each blowing lustful circles of smoke. Only the traditional Dutch saying " HET IS GEEN MAN DIE NIET ROOKEN KAN" (it is not a man who cannot smoke) has remained unchanged. Yet the illustration is traditional as well because the cigarette, the smoking habit of the twentieth century, stays out of sight. The two smokers are framed by thin and innovative ornament work in the style of Art Nouveau. Special about this dish is that the artist is known. It is Jan Guérain, who was a painter at the Ivora works for years, the ceramic factory that originated from Gouda's oldest pipe factory, the WS factory. Guérain worked there for no less than 24 years and has left a wide oeuvre. In addition to thousands of smoker's plates and countless small objects, this is one of his majestic objects. The dish may have been intended for a tobacconist shop where itserved as decoration and advertisment.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 20.856Permalink