Cigar holder with hunting scene
The second half of the nineteenth century is the heyday of the meerschaum cigar holder. As a result, colossal tobacco pipes disappear within a few years and these are interchanged for elegant holders in which the cigar can be smoked. The lavish cigar holder shown here is a wonderful example of a fashion that flourished for more than fifty years. A scene full of action has been created on a slightly curved horn-shaped stem. A lion hunter on horseback keeps a lioness or panther at gunpoint. The moment when the trigger is pulled is therefore the crucial moment of the hunt. The action is further enhanced by the waving Arabian clothing of the shooter. In the period of origin, wild stories circulated, in which those about Gérard le Tueur des Lions were the most heroic. The representation of this pipe must match the stories about that French hero. The smoker will definitely have made an impression with his fellow smokers with such a large-scale cigar holder. That this pipe is one of the more expensive, more artistic examples of fashion, is evidenced by the lifelike carving that has been artistically executed and worked out in detail. If you look closely at this object, you will see two other characteristics of the meerschaum pipe. Looking through the eyelashes, the original meerschaum chunck emerges from which this flamboyant pipe is cut and we see how the piece of raw meerschaum was used to the maximum. In addition, it is evident how ingeniously the carver has worked. Because of the robustness of this utensil, numerous connecting pieces had to remain between the parts of the scene. That happened in a totally natural way that makes it even unnoticed and proves the skill of the carver. The durability of this cigar holder has proven itself, the object has been smoked for a long time without damage occurring.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 22.084Permalink