Caricature head with horse nose
Some rustic pieces of wood inspire artistic carvers to the most bizarre inventions. Even smoking equipment was also not deprived of that artistry, as is displayed in this stunning example. A whimsical piece of cherry wood, sawn off at the point where two branches diverge, was the starting point for this talented maker to devise a pipe. He created a man's portrait with a moustache and beard and two bushy eyebrows, culminating in a great nose that ends in a horse's head. To give the depiction some glow, eyes of glass paste were used in white with blue-black pupils for the man and dark red for the horse. These shining eyes bring the two characters to life. The mounting of an ascending straight stem that can be disassembled into three sections, completes the pipe. Pieces of cherry bark provide dark accents on the stem, while the peeled wood matches the bright colour of the pipe bowl. The length of the stem is almost half a meter, which guarantees a cool and dry smoke. The dating of such a grotesque pipe is at the end of the nineteenth century. At that time more pipes of this kind were made, always in varying designs. This example is one of the most attractive. The French Alsace may have been the place of manufacture.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 24.673