Silver plated pipe decoration
In the 1960s, a wonderfully decorated pipe was launched in America. We are talking about the "MEDICO STERLING", which has a silver-plated decoration on the bowl. The copy depicted here shows Scytian warriors on the frieze running around, edged along the borders with a sort of meander cornice. The mounting of these pipes was done with a nylon stem that was considered a nouveauté in those years. In short, with its silver decoration and modern stem an innovative product with which the smoker could impress. The most important seller was Sam Frank, who at that time controlled a considerable part of the pipe market with shop sales and in addition catalogs through mailings. The decorations were made by a Plating Company based on Broadway in Manhattan. The process was invented by a certain Joe Marco. The technique went as follows. The decoration was applied to a briar pipe with a screen print. The non-covered parts were then covered with asphalt, after which a silver paint dissolved in acetone was sprayed onto the pipe, which adheres to the non-asphalted parts. The asphalt was then melted and the pipe with the decoration kept in an electroplating bath for about four hours. These pipes were a resounding success on the market, but, as is often the case with novelties, interest quickly disappeared. Manufacturing started in the early 1960s, sales declined in the 1970s and when the silver price subsequently rose, production stopped definitively.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 21.926
Archive object of month