Carving example by Perron
An absolute special find is this ivory sculpture in the shape of a massive pipe bowl. It is a design for a meerschaum portrait pipe and was made by Jean Perron. In the 1860s and 1870s Perron was a carver in meerschaum and ivory who was making walking stick buttons as well as pipe bowls. He gladly put his artistic qualities at the service of the then-growing Parisian meerschaum industry by designing beautiful pipes. After a light sketch on paper, he carved the figures into ivory as a perfect three-dimensional sculpture. These massive pieces of art were used in the Paris workshops as a example for the workers who copied them into meerschaum pipe bowls. This sculpture shows the portrait of an Arab with mustache and a beard in two inconspicuous points. He wears a headgear of sheet held in place by two cords. The rear of the object is smoothly ground and has a screw tap. A wooden stem was attached to it. The object must have been made between 1860 and 1875 and probably served a generation or perhaps even longer in the carving workshop of a pipe factory until it ended up as a curiosity at the pipe shop Au Caïd on the Paris Boulevard Saint Michel. It survived a century there before the historic importance was rediscovered.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 22.655Permalink