Royal coat of arms
In the nineteenth century it was bon-ton to smoke a pipe with your own family crest or monogram, carved on special request. This pipe bowl with a high Hungarian shape is a fine example. At the center of the bowl is the crowned royal initial, surrounded by a circular form with leafwork, the back of the bowl is left unadorned. Actually, there is an ordinary ornamental decoration around the top, bottom and stem-end, but the way it is executed bears witness to a good sense of ornamentation, or in other words, it is clearly the work of a top class carver. This tobacco pipe was made for Fürst Fugger von Babenhausen from Augsburg and is executed in the then-beloved neo style. A silver rim has been nailed along the underside to protect the pipe bowl against scratches or other damage when standing in a rack. On the cuff, the manufacturer has pressed the letter N as a maker's mark so that we know that it comes from the company of Noltze, a famous meerschaum maker. As usual, the pipe bowl is finished with a drum-shaped silver lid and a matching cuff ring with a locking eye. This mounting demonstrates again understated luxury.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 21.939Permalink