Uncle Paul cast in caoutchouc
South African President Kruger, better known as Uncle Paul, was extremely popular not only in his own country, but also in Europe. As the fifth president of the South African Republic, he traveled through Europe to seek support for the problems in his home country, Transvaal. With his international reputation he was kindly received by, among others, Queen Wilhelmina. It is therefore not surprising that several tobacco pipes are dedicated to him. The present portrait pipe has the most modern looks of the series. Tobacco pipe figuration was no longer in fashion around 1900 and the emphasis shifted from the clay pipe to products made from alternative materials. This pipe is a good example of this new style. It is made of hard rubber or caoutchouc, a modern material that can be moulded. Because hard rubber is flammable, such pipes were fitted with a wooden or meerschaum pipe bowl. With this design, the characteristic Kruger top hat was turned into a pipe bowl, the hollow space underneath serves to precipitate tobacco moisture and also stimulates the cooling of the smoke. Modeling was an issue for the hard rubber manufacturer. That is clearly reflected in the somewhat schematic design, but because of his characteristic ring beard and top hat, Kruger is sufficiently recognizable. In addition, to avoid confusion, the inscription “OOM PAUL” was applied to the stem.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 22.979Permalink