A press mould of a man with a turban
Press moulds for clay pipes are quite rare. Surprising on one hand, considering that thousands of them were in use in the nineteenth century. Yet it is also understandable, because the press mould was a means of production, so when there was no longer demand for a specific pipe design, the mould was simply melted down. The mould depicted here survived, being a rarity as an example of a multi-part figural press mould. The design shows the bust of the Moroccan sultan Abd-El-Rhaman in traditional North African costume. The design originates from the Gambier company in Givet where it is known as shape number 508. Pipe makers in the Belgian Meuse region imitated this popular pipe design. For example, before 1850 we find an image in the catalog of Wingender-Knoedgen from Chokier (shape 153). However, it did not stop there. This figural pipe was also supplied by Jean Jacques Knoedgen from Brée who assigned shape number 81. It is most special that the moulds from Knoedgen remained in the pipe making branch until the 1980s, including several transfers and were finally preserved for posterity. Given the still very good condition of the mould, the produced quantity of this pipe has not been very large. The mould is a wonderful proof of the highly skilled craftsmanship of the past.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 23.717
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