Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Les Pipes d'Etalage

The French clay pipes known as "pipes d'étalage" have a foyer between 6 and 10 inches (15 to 25cm) high. They were never intended for use as a smoking device.

They played a different role in the clay pipe industry. 

Manufactured in small series with utmost care to the original sculpture (we know the name of one artist), the mold, the quality of the clay and the finish applied, they were awarded as in-store showpieces to the most worthy among the retailers that carried the manufacturer's product line. None of the pipes d'étalage accordingly appears in catalogs from the XIXth century.

Dumeril Leurs, Dutel-Gisclon, Blanc Garin and Gambier are known for their "pipes d'étalage". So is Bonnaud of Marseille for its 7 1/5 inches high red clay exhibition piece bearing the arms of the city of Marseille.

A total of eight figural "pipes d'étalage" have surfaced: Roustan, Bayard and  La Femme Renaissance, Abd el Kader, Balthazar, la Cinquantenaire, Junon and Diane de Poitiers

Others might still be identified.

Roustan by Duméril-Leurs, Height: 8 inches (20cm), 
Courtesy Daniel Mazaleyrat Collection.

Bayard by Dutel-Gisclon (signed Osmond) Height: 8 inches (20 cm)

"La Femme Renaissance" by Dutel-Gisclon  (signed Osmond) Height: 8 inches (20 cm), 
Courtesy of Piasa, Paris

Abd el-Kader by Gambier. Height: 10 inches (25 cm), 
Courtesy Coutau-Bégarie, Paris

Balthazar by Gambier. Height: 6 inches (15 cm)
Courtesy André Leclaire Collection

"Le Cinquantenaire" by Gambier, 1849,
Height: 6.2 inches (16 cm)
Courtesy of Piasa, Paris 

Junon by Gambier,Height: 10 inches (25 cm), 
Courtesy Coutau-Bégarie, Paris

Diane de Poitiers by Gambier, Height: 9 7/8 inches (25 cm),  
Courtesy of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum

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