Meerschaum with briar lining
Interesting are tobacco pipes made from both meerschaum and briar, actually balancing between the two industries. Thanks to the meerschaum the pipe offers the advantage of a neutral taste and good moisture absorption, while wood provides the strength and durability. The pipe pictured here is a wonderful product of the interaction in both materials. Witness the stamped GBD brand it was made by Ganneval, Bondier & Donninger, a Paris-based firm. GBD is known for their tobacco pipes of superb luxury and unexpected design, initially in meerschaum. This product shows that they brought together the best of two disciplines. The long stem is made of wood with an amber mouthpiece. The bowl, on the other hand, is entirely of meerschaum, although it is encased in a fragile network of wood that has been carved audaciously showing fine branches with leaves and roses between two horizontal lines. This delicate woodwork deserves all admiration. The subject is not very masculine in appearance, which we see more often in pipes and apparently did not seem to bother the users. In terms of manufacturing technology, there is still a hidden gem. Cutting the wood so finely was of course a great art. After that the meerschaum bowl had to be mounted and if you look closely, you will see that the bowl insert had to consist of two parts, between which the wood carving clung. Conventional for luxury pipes from that period is the corresponding cassette to protect the object. Here too, the mark is stamped with the reference Paris, which indicates the early date of this pipe. An additional inscription with "EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE PARIS 1889" illustrates the significance of the company as a participant in the world exhibition of that year.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 21.195Permalink