Early porcelain portrait pipes are a rare item. They were among the curiosities of the established porcelain factories and were never produced in a large quantities. This also applies to this bold portrait with a height of more than seven centimeters. Depicted is a soldier à la hussar. This indication evokes an atmosphere of fearless soldiers, although this chap looks quite harmless. The question is whether the smoker knew the hundreds of uniforms to see exactly which rank was shown. More important, however, is the political background, represented by a token of two circles on his hat with a raised panicle symbolizing the French kingdom. The painting of this pipe bowl was done in natural colours with the hat in green, the hanging flap showing the red lining. A scalloped purple border has been applied to the stem transition. The most successful colour, however, is the skin of the depicted hussar, which brings realism with its prefect shades of colour.. The pipe bowl still has the original mounting with silver ring around the edge, with a perfectly fitting lid without a hinge, that is secured by a a lock chain running to the cuff ring. The edges of the mounting on the bowl opening and at the stem end are zigzag, so that they can easily clamp. The pipe bowl was made around 1780 at the Royal Porcelain Factory in Copenhagen, although it is unclear whether it was sold on the local market or intended for the French smoker who undoubtedly liked the colors of the cockade.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 22.652Permalink