Grotesque pipe with clown heads
This pipe bowl is made from rough briar root, the unique structure of the bark is still visible. Such a texture is also called bois brulé in the antique trade, but in fact that is not a good indication because the wood structure has not become so by burning. Three root tubers have been used to make this pipe, each of them have retained their rustic appearance. Two clown faces are carved on the sides of the largest, which forms the pipe bowl. Cleverly done, they display almost the same whimsical structure as the bark of the root itself. Both portraits are extraordinarily expressive and suggest the cheerfulness that a clown's face could create. The pipe stem is made from a second root tuber and is provided with a twisted smooth cuff. What makes the pipe so complete is the lid of a third piece of root, sawn flat on one side and with an air hole in the central point. It is difficult to say where such folk art was made, although it seems to be a French merit. Especially in France such grotesque folk art enjoys great popularity.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 18.000
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