A devil's head made from coquilla nut
This remarkable pipe bowl is made from the exotic nut of the coquilla. It is a smart piece of craftsmanship that is made up of different parts. The most striking is the pipe bowl, cut in the shape of a fantasized devil's head. Particularly astounding are the large devil's ears, but also the strong features in the face, the gargantuan row of teeths, the mustache and long goatee fit into that sphere. A kind of geometric decoration of foliage forms a final at the bottom and a similar final as a cover on top, crowned with the figure of a sitting bear. The stem onset has leaf motifs. Several nuts will have been used for all these parts. We know coquilla nut carvers as highly skilled people who, in addition to a great imagination, also had a well-developed sense of form, proportion and decor, as this unusual pipe bowl examplifies. We are still in the dark about the manufacturing sites of these pipes. It seems most likely that the fresh nuts came from South-America to France and were processed into objects there. The wide variation in types of objects, motifs and the refined workmanship make it almost impossible that it concerns a foreign production.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 20.210
Archive object of month