Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Imperial Porcelain Pipe


The French Imperial Eagle stands on top of the world, inscribed with the names of the countries France was in war with at the turn of the 19th century: Espagne, Autriche, Turquie, Italie, Pologne, Russie, Belgique, Sardaigne, Portugal and Hollande.




Around the basis is the text: "Napoléon Bonaparte, Empereur"






and "Honneur à l' Armée Française" .





Behind the semi-spread wings of the eagle is a tower which forms the furnace of the pipe.




At the base of the tower is a small statue of Napoléon.




On the tower walls are the names of the battlefields the French army led by Napoleon fought.


 

and on the other side, a tree in high relief.





The pipe is made of fine porcelain (porcelaine de Paris?), fully glazed and decorated with gold paint (enamel?). It stands 6.4 cm. tall and measures 6 cm measured from the front of the ball to the rim of the stub-stem. 

Made in France, ca. 1880.

Original text and Photos Courtesy of Académie Internationale de la Pipe


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Jockey Cheroot Holders


Late 19th century high-relief-carved jockey,


From the Arno Ziestnitz Meerschaum Pipe Collection

with boots of jet and amber.


Dimensions: 6" x 2-1/2" x 1-½


The cap, pipe, and crop are exquisitely detailed in richly colored amber.






By the same talented carver, a free standing variation on the same theme...








Thursday, February 22, 2018

19th Century Viennese Beauties


A large, complex pipe whose motif is believed to be a late 19th C. interpretation of The Three Graces astride the shank, rococo scroll and foliate decoration, silver wind cover with amber insert and amber mouthpiece, 11" in length, 4-1/2" in height. Late 19th C. European. 






Antonio Canova’s statue, The Three Graces, carved between 1814-1817, is a Neoclassical sculpture, in marble, of the mythological three charites, daughters of Zeus – identified on some engravings of the statue as, from left to right, Euphrosyne, Aglaea and Thalia - who were said to represent youth/beauty (Thalia), mirth (Euphrosyne), and elegance (Aglaea).





We believe that these there ladies may very well be a more contemporary expression from this unknown European pipe carver.





of those three faces, one especially captures the eye...





but it is the half human-half vegetal carving on the front of the bowl that confirms beyond any reasonable doubt that the carver of this pipe was a uniquely talented and inspired sculptor...






From the Arno Ziesnitz Meerschaum Pipe Collection/Locati LLC Auction House


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Barton's Beauty


It is not often that we collectors encounter an unusual or eye-popping, jaw-dropping meerschaum pipe, but, occasionally, we do. There are not enough descriptive adjectives in the English language to assign to this monumental meerschaum pipe. It is a carver's liberal interpretation of the mythical Poseidon (Neptune), God of the seas. This statuesque carving is 8-½" in height.







 

It once belonged to an exceptionally devoted antique pipe collector, J. Trevor Barton of England, who passed away in 2008. 






It was in the auction in London at Christie's in September 2010, described as "Carved with a figure of Poseidon, nereids, and sea horses, gilt silver and coral mounted, inscribed ST. FRENZEL, Wien, the finial of Poseidon at rest in a grotto, amber mouthpiece." 






In our opinion, the catalog description did not give this exquisite sculpture its due respect. It is an absolute marvel in balance, detail, and finesse, with in-the-round carving throughout. 






Not surprisingly, a successful bidder appreciated this fine specimen. The House estimate was $2,300 - $3,800. The lucky bidder purchased it for $13,606!


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fantastical Smoking Set








This is probably not a salesman’s kit, more likely a custom-configured, special order set--nested in a fitted leather case with locking mechanism--for a gentleman pipe smoker.



Accompanying the three mid-19th Century meerschaum pipe bowls are three different, interchangeable push stems and their associated mouthpieces.
 



A very interesting aspect is the mix of materials that comprises each stem: ivory, amber, gilt- and silver-inlay on mother-of-pearl, silver cutwork, turned buffalo horn, piqué work, niello, and silk thread tassels … quite an assortment that hints that this set was probably very pricey in its day.




Prob. German or Austrian, c. 1850-1860.


Courtesy of the João Pavão Martins Collection