A seven bowled pipe
In England at the end of the nineteenth century the multi-bowled pipe came up as a trinket. They were sold as a curio. Although some seriously smoked multi-headed pipes have been preserved, most of them were ornamental objects. They figured in a pipe collection as the ultimate piece, but also as a presentation pipe in the tobacconist's shop. They are also said to have been used as a game in the pub to drink them when filled with liquor. Whoever tries, will soon discover that it is not that simple and that was of course the joke. There will be countless casualties in such game. Nevertheless, several copies have been preserved, such as the one shown here. It is clearly a serial article but a serious piece of pipe maker craftsmanship. The pipe in the center has a large curved bowl and a thicker stem. It was precisely on this thicker stem that three smaller pipe bowls each side could be mounted on either side, which of course were connected to the central bore that led to the mouthpiece. Various decorative clay pipes have been used for these added bowls, which run very subtly on both sides from large to small. The somewhat messy zone in between, where the stems were attached, was adorned with two walking horses that were cut off from the stems of ornate pipes.A show piece like this required one complete pipe, six decorated bowls and two stems of figural pipes. It is not impossible that the stem of the main pipe was extended to give the object a better proportion. At this pipe, a twist was made in the last stem piece, which indicates a great deal of care during manufacture.Being typical English the pipe culdn’t do without a lacquered mouthpiece.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 17.730
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