This article does not focus on a particular antique meerschaum pipe, but on meerschaum pipe bowls in the typical Norwegian style decorated with acanthus ornamentation. All the photographs are by the author.
|Side view of a typical, plain, meerschaum pipe|
bowl in typical Norwegian form; the identity of the ‘AR’ of
Christiana (Oslo) is not known.
Viewed from the front or from above, it has straight or nearly straight, parallel sides. Viewed from either side, it appears quadrangular, but rather than four similarly proportioned angles, the lower side is most often curved. The sides are even or almost even, as are the ends. The upper ends are sharp-edged, each end having a hole, the nearest for insertion of a pipe stem, the farthest being the tobacco bowl. The lower edges are usually graded or have softer forms. Originally, this particular pipe was made of wood, usually birch, much later of briar and, to a certain extent, of block and imitation meerschaum. The most common variety was undecorated, but some were, and some even had silver mounts.
|Unusual, almost pentagonal, Norwegian meerschaum model with achanthus decoration in krillskurd.|
the first example of these pipe bowls. It measures 6.6 cm in length, 5.1 cm. in height, and 3 cm. in breadth. Its silhouette, somewhat unusual for the Norwegian model, is almost pentagonal, and its top edges are graded. Otherwise, it has the typical features of the model. It is decorated on the sides, front and bottom with acanthus leaves, and there is also a flower on the underside. The carving is done artistically with deep cuts, giving the acanthus an animated look typical of Krillskurd, the Gudbrandsdal acanthus style. It has a few surface cracks, and it has been smoked, although not long enough to change its colour uniformly and completely. Rather small in size, and of the simple Norwegian model, yet of meerschaum and exhibiting a relative high standard of carving, the pipe probably belonged to a man of some means. It is stamped ‘G. Larsen’ and it dates from about the second half of the nineteenth century.
|Silver-mounted Norwegian meerschaum pipe model with acanthus leaf decoration in flatskurd.|
is also acanthus, but more Flatskurd-like, i.e., Telemark acanthus. Its measurements are 6.7cm. in height, 8.2cm. in length, and 3.2cm. in breadth. It has some minor cracks,