An exotic pipe with a French stem
The nineteenth-century French pipe smoker was a great fan of exotic smoking equipment. In addition to the usual West European pipes in various shapes, he looked for products with an Eastern look, such as the pipe shown here. This is an Ottoman pipe whose design goes back to Turkish or North African examples. The basic shape consists of a cylindrical ten-sided bowl placed on a weighted base. On the outside the pipe bowl is decorated with geometric motifs with so-called ray eyes and stylized flowers above. Originally the bowl and stem were made on the turntable, glued together and stamped by hand. Production was more streamlined in the nineteenth century. Then these pipe bowls were pressed in a two-part mould after which the decoration was stamped. The maker's mark was also applied during the same finishing round, which, in addition to an Arabic text, gives the name "B. FUCHEZ CONSTANTINOPLE". Fuchez was a pipe trader who had pipes produced under license at various locations. Sales took place both in the Levant and in France and other European countries. The mounting with a contemporary cherry wood stem and buffalo horn mouthpiece means that this pipe was sold and smoked in the West. This happened at the end of the nineteenth century. In Turkey, such bowls were smoked with a much longer stem. After 1880 the West European smoker considered that as impractical and opted for the handy, short stem. The object is therefore a combination of the Eastern appearance with the Western smoking habit.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 5.228
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