Ball-shaped marble tobacco pipe
The collection of our museum has many pipes of an exceptional material, but this spherical marble pipe bowl with brass mounting is really unexpected. The object comes from the Himalayas where rich grooves for marble and other kinds of stone can be found. The hook on the stem suggests use by a nomadic tribe for whom practical carrying of the object is important. Common in this area are hammer-shaped pipes with a slightly biconical stone bowl, the metal stem is always attached halfway up the bowl. The brass mounting, often embellished with some red copper, provides an attractive accent. Furthermore, the sturdy button mouthpiece is characteristic of Tibet in particular, where it also occurs in the pipes made from yak horn. Also typical and very charming is the rosette shape at the front of the bowl with geometric engraving of lines supplemented with hatchings. The pipe comes from the area bordering the Tibetan plateau, between India, Nepal and Bhutan. Exactly the region of origin cannot be indicated, just as the dating remains a point of discussion. The auction catalog in which this pipe was advertised speaks of the eighteenth or nineteenth century. That is easy to say, but difficult to prove. Besides for personal use, such pipes also serve to sell to the few tourists. They are looking for objects for spiritual contemplation, to which this remarkable tobacco pipe fits in well.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 24.631Permalink