Folk art figures
This month we present a wonderfully carved wooden pipe that bears witness to great craftsmanship, but at the same time it is also primitive and somewhat rough. The pipe bowl is supported by a weighted base with short legs, with around the base pieces of inlaid coloured glass. Particularly striking are the four stylized standing figures around the pipe bowl, all of which have the same posture. The faces are set with glass eyes, while they wear large hats that are carefully attached to their heads with a nail. The silhouette of the pipe is equally striking, with a slighty bending stem made up of different segments that slide into each other. At the center a monkey is hanging out of the stem, as the others with a headgear, in fact more like a barrister barret. A locking chain has been placed around his neck that extends to the mouthpiece with an intermediate ring. This mouthpiece is made of buffalo horn for durability. A little lower on that stem, four more pieces of inlay made of light and dark buffalo horn are arranged. We do not know who made such a product and what the meaning of the figures with those strange hats is. Certainly it is a French object from the nineteenth century, but unfortunately the maker and even the region are not to be determined. It is the amusing of the form and figures that makes this French folk object so intriguing.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 22.790Permalink