A Bacchant as a table pipe
This tobacco pipe, intended to be placed on the table and to smoke with a flexible hose, is one of the most out of the ordinary pipes. It is made of porcelain and shows a impressive multi-coloured painting. A Bacchant is seated with a wineglass in hand, around his convex head is a vine. With its open jerkin, three-quarter pants with stripes and a ring beard under the chin, it has a pleasant, but at the same time very common appearance. Although such objects are referred to as Porcelaine de Paris, in this case that is wishful thinking. In the nineteenth century, the French factories, lead by the extremely gifted maître porcelainier Jacob Petit, devised beautiful porcelain objects. They are characterized by a colourful painting, but the shard of that material was much more refined than with this heavy-duty table pipe. In addition, the palette was not that intense. It is not yet known where this pipe was made, although German origin is more likely. Yet in the time of its creation, this was a luxury item with an unusual appearance. Only the motivated pipe smoker would be tempted to purchase, at least if he was in for a curiosity. The serious smoker rather sought a more comfortable tobacco pipe. It is therefore not surprising that so far only two copies are known.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 18.400
Archive object of month