A portrait pipe in faience
This Italian pipe bowl stands out for its design and use of colour. With its yellow shard and colourful tin glaze, it is one of the luxury and therefore rare pipes made of ceramic. The basic shape of this pipe was made in a simple two-part printing mould. The fashion is more sketchy than detailed and that underlines the philosophy of the maker who did not want to create an art product, but a simple yet striking object. After the so-called biscuit fire, the pipe bowl was glazed. The underglaze layer was usually applied by means of a sponge or a brush. Then the details with the brush followed. The latter happened in three colours and with a certain speed. The eyes, eyebrows and mouth are tipped with purple, the face with an orange tint. Finally, the cap of the head is provided with green stripes, together with the stem end. The glaze melts during the final fire. No matter how well-intended, the object displays craftsmanship but not the perfection that faience could have. The printing mould has too few details for this, presumably because it has been in use for some time. Moreover, tin glaze is rather thick and syrupy, which covers and obscures the shape characteristics. For the smoker, however, this pipe was a striking piece because the Italians mainly smoked from simple terracotta pipe bowls. IN this ase, figuration and colour were the elements with which the smoker of the past could stand out.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 17.510
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