Folk art from Friesland
Nothing is more endearing than amateur workmanship, objects of hard work created during the evening hours. This tobacco pipe is a good example of this type of craft. It was carved by an industrious Frisian after a model of a luxury wooden pipe of German origin. Such so-called Gesteckpfeifen are made up by assembling parts of different materials. In this casethere are several parts, although it is only one type of wood. Our pipe has a cylindrical, so-called Hungarian bowl with an ascending stem. Everything about this object makes this tobacco pipe popular folk art. The over-decorated pipe bowl shows the symbols of life on farmland in light relief: the cattle, agricultural implements and above all the hard-working farmer's wife with yoke. These elements are arranged around the bowl, close together like a mosaic, without leaving a single millimeter of the surface unadorned. The relief on the lid is amusing: the farmer himself lying next to a loyal dog or is it his favorite cow? An example of true craftsmanship is the carved chain with strung wooden links out of one single piece of wood. The last link in brass with which the chain is attached to the stem proves that this did not work out completely. Very practical, the wooden tassel can also serve as a pipe stopper. The hinged lid also proves that making this pipe, fitted with a metal inner bowl to prevent burn-out, caused the maker the inevitable headaches. This lid can only be opened if the stem is first removed from the pipe. Not really practical. All in all, it is a sympathetic piece of carving that, given the minor traces of use, served primarily as a showpiece.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 22.106
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