Silver fittings on a water pipe bowl
This pipe bowl has been the chic crowning of an undoubtedly posh water pipe. Basic material is copper that is decorated on the visible side with sawn and engraved silverware and brass with an ornamental pattern of leaves and geometric motifs. The motifs are partly attached to the substrate with nails, in other cases soldered. The decoration is divided into several zones, each with a different pattern of varying intensity. Quite striking are the cypresses, symbol of rebirth, interspersed with stylized flowers such as peonies or roses that represent strength and innocence. Especially in the details it is clearly visible that it is handmade, such as the wavy lines formed from brass wire. This laborious technique is characteristic of the former Persia, the present-day Iran, where the water pipe fulfilled an important function as a status object during the rich Quadjar period. This silverware bowl crowned an upright stem that rested in a drop-shaped water bottle. This type of hookah is referred to as qualian. In addition to the silver version discussed here, there are similarly shaped pipe bowls with colorful enamel painting. However, the version with chic understated silverware shows more class.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 24.646
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