Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Silver Plated Copper Pipe and Tophane pipe

An unusual sight, a silver-plated copper pipe in the shape of... a Turkish clay pipe.
This is an example of either the strong appeal of the culture of the Orient among the XIXth century elite of Europe or of the actual demand from the elite of Constantinople for an occidental masterpiece in the very shape of its own often gold decorated Tophane pipe bowls.

The silver pipe has a large Tudor rose on the base and a finely scalloped bowl. It
is most likely of English manufacture, ca. 1850.

The most refined of Turkish clay pipe bowls were made for centuries in the Tophane district of Constantinople (renamed εις την πόλιν-Istanbul in 1923), which borders the Bosphorus (/ˈbɒspərəs/, Turkish: Boğaziçi, Greek: Βόσπορos, Vosporos, Bulgaria: Босфора, Bosfora), also known as the Istanbul Strait (Turkish: İstanbul Boğazı).

Byzantium / Constantinopolis, 1572

Kilic Ali Pasha Mosque and Tomb, Tophane, Constantinople, 1580
The Tophane clay pipe makers excelled in the creation of these superb deep red clay pipe bowls decorated with gold-leaf decor appliqué.

A view of the base of the pipe. Notice the gold stamp.

Turkish coffee houses were the location of choice to sip one's coffee and smoke a pipe,

although members of the elite would favor the intimacy of their own quarters...

"Monsieur Levett and Mademoiselle Glavani in Turkish costume," oil on canvas, painted by the Swiss-French artist Jean-Etienne Liotard. ca 1740 (Musée du Louvre, Paris)

Dame franque vétue à la turque et sa servante, Jean-Etienne Liotard, 1742-1743 (Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Genève)
Turc fumant assis sur un divan, Eugène Delacroix, 1830 (Le Louvre, Paris)

Ο ανατολίτης με την πίπα (Oriental Man with Pipe), Nikolaos Gysis, 1874 (National Museum, Athens)
Worthy of note, the Monsieur Levett by Jean-Etienne Liotard was painted at Constantinople circa 1740, and the work shows English merchant Francis Levett, of the Levant Company, with his friend Miss Glavani, in the dress favored by Liotard in his works.
Monsieur Liotard smokes a chibouk (in French: chibouque, from Turkish: çıbuk, çubuk),composed of a Tophane bowl, a multi-part wood stem four to five feet long and an amber mouthpiece.

The chibouk and the European kaolin pipe (after Robinson 1985).From Archeological Evidence for the Consumption of tobacco and coffee in Ottoman Arabia, a thesis by Aimée C. Bouzigard, May 2010, presented to the Faculty of the Department of Anthropology, East Carolina University
Merchants and diplomats reaching the Orient were the first to experience the pleasures of smoking a chibouk, the pleasure of the experience and the social benefits of its associated rituals.

The Viennese had been peacefully conquered in the late XVIIth century by Turkish pipes and Tobacco, right after the Battle of Vienna (German: Schlacht am Kahlenberg, Polish: Bitwa pod Wiedniem or Odsiecz Wiedeńska, Turkish: İkinci Viyana Kuşatması, Ukrainian: Віденська відсіч / Viděns'ka Vidsič) which took place on 11 and 12 September, 1683

Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki (Ukrainian: Юрій-Франц Кульчицький) (1640 – February 19, 1694), a Ukrainian nobleman  whose fluency in Turkish, German, Hungarian, Romanian, and Polish languages had made him a sought after resource by traders, had to take  refuge in Vienna after escaping the systematic repression of traders suspected of spying by the Turkish authorities.

During the Battle of Vienna in 1683 he volunteered to break through the Ottoman siège lines to ask for help from the Duke Charles of Lorraine with the message that Vienna could not hold much longer after a debilitating two month siège. He managed to return to the city with a promise of imminent relief. The city council decided not to surrender to the Turkish forces of Kara Mustafa Pasha. The Christian forces led by the Polish King Jan III Sobieski arrived on September 12 and the siege was broken.

The city council awarded him with a considerable sum of money while the burghers gave him a house in the borough of Leopoldstadt. King Jan III Sobieski himself presented Kulczycki with large amounts of coffee found in the captured camp of Kara Mustafa's army.

Kulczycki opened a coffee house in Vienna at Schlossergassl near the cathedral. It was named the Hof zur Blauen Flasche (‘House under the Blue Bottle’).

"The host was seen chibouk in mouth walking up and down greeting such distinguished company as Count  Starhemberg, Marc Avian - Sobieski's Capuchin confessor, who had stood upon the heights of the Kahlenberg on the eve of the battle and blessed the Christian hosts - Prince Eugene de Savoie, and the popular poet Augustin."

"After Kulczycki's death, around 1700, a number of cafés were opened, and later on Vienna was attacked with a species of Turkomania; only Turkish pipes and Turkish tobacco were smoked; the elegance wore Turkish dressing gowns, and the masked balls saw nothing but Turkish costumes. Turkish music became the rage; it was the Wagner music of the day, and nothing but drums and cymbals satisfied the musical taste of society. "

This fascination with the mysteries and the lifestyle of the Orient spread to other European cities, Milan,

Billiards Players at the Caffé Specchi, by Guiseppe Bernardino Bison (1762-1844)

Rome, Paris and London, finding a ready and willing audience in artistic and literary circles, as can be seen in this painting by Constantin Hansen in 1837 of a group of Danish artists in Rome,

Let Geraldine Norman (in Biedermeier Painting) describe the scene:

“The architect Gottlieb Bindesbøll, wearing a bright red fez, reclines in cushioned  ease on a Turkish rug while he regales his friends with travelers’ tales from the East.  A group of the most distinguished Danish artists of the day are gathered in Hansen’s studio in Rome drinking Turkish coffee and puffing at long Turkish pipes while they listen to Bindesbøll’s account of the trip to Greece and Turkey that he and painter Martinus Rørbye had just made.

“The frustration of having to sit in silence while your companion tells the story is conveyed by the way Rørbye, sitting in the doorway, is fiddling with his coffee cup.  Jørgen Sonne perches on the table listening while Albert Küchler and Ditlev Blunck stand on the balcony with Wilhelm Marstrand, the landscape artist, who stares out at the view.  Hansen himself is seated on the far left; he asked Küchler to paint him in his chosen attitude and copied the brilliant portrait provided by his friend into his own picture.” 

The French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), whose work in the first half of the XIXth century represents the apotheosis of Neoclassicism, 

Self-portrait at age 24, 1804 (revised ca. 1850), oil on canvas, 78 x 61 cm, Musée Condé,Château de Chantilly, France
had a fascination with the Orient. 

Among the 4,500 drawings he left us, now housed in the Ingres Museum in Montauban, France, are two drawings entitled "Pipe turque":

Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

Théophile Gautier, the multi-faceted French poet and art critic born in 1811,

Théophile Gautier by Nadar, 1856

 who was himself an inveterate pipe smoker, of tobacco (and other plants...)

Théophile Gautier by H. Mailly

 Thóphile Gautier by Gill, Courtesy B. Mamy
actually traveled to Constantinople. It was 1852 when he wrote of the Tophane pipes:

"The bowls, made from a fine soft clay, are decorated by the potters with various motifs, using special rollers. They are also marked with a small stamp. They do not carbonize like French pipes and are very cheap. They are used in huge quantities".

It is an indication of how much the experience marked Gautier that the last portrait of the poet of Caprices et Zigzags is a caricature in water colors done in Princess Mathilde's house in Saint-Gatien in 1872, in which Gautier is in Turkish costume, squatting with his sandals lying by his side, as though he were praying in a mosque, and smoking a long pipe, as was the habit by the author of Constantinople (1853).

As early as 1824, Bonnaud of Marseille, France, would manufacture red clay pipes in the shape of tophane pipe bowls and other pipe bowls for chibouks.

Fifteen years after Gautier's death, in 1887 the chibouk below was manufactured by the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, (the first hookas - three in total - were produced in the Manufacture in 1788 as presents to a delegation of Indian diplomats headed by Tipoo-Sahed, the nabab of Mysore),

with the distinctive stamp of the Manufacture bearing the interlaced letters R and F for République Française and the inscription "DORE A SEVRES - 87 - "

There is no indication as to who the beneficiary of this beautiful piece was, perhaps a visiting dignitary from the Orient to whom the French Président de la IIIème République Jules Grévy wanted to extend his government's hospitality, but without doubt a connaisseur of the fine art of chibouk smoking who would have cherished the ownership and use of a bowl made of the finest porcelaine de Paris, in its famous blue color (referred to simply as bleu de Sèvres) and adorned with delicately applied dorure (gilding) in gold.

In 1888, Albert Charles Auguste Racinet (1825-1893), the French lithographer and draftsman, compiled 500 plates into a multi-album book set titled "le Costume Historique". He dedicated six of the 500 plates in the book set (five in vibrant polychrome colors and one in ecru) to tobacco pipes: Europe (1); Asia (3); and Africa (2). The legend accompanying these six plates indicates that these pipes once belonged to the Baron de Watteville (1824-1901), Chief of France’s Dépôt des Livres and the Director of Sciences and Letters in the French Ministry of Public Instruction.

"Legend: Water Pipes: Fig. 21. Narguileh of Egyptian peasant, length 60 cm, the receptacle made of cocoa nut, shaft and stem of wood, Fig. 12. Narguileh from Persia, 17-18th Century, with independent support, height 90 cm, receptacle and bowl made of metal, embellished with cloisonné enamel, metal tripod, wood stem, leather, shaft, Fig. 15. Narguileh with independent support, height 50 cm, receptacle of cocoa nut, inlaid with silver, wooden shaft, metal tripod with chiseled ornamentation, Fig. 13. Houkhah of Indian peasant of 16-17th Century, 40 cm long, bell of black metal damascened with silver, bowl made of terra-cotta, tube embellished with silk, Fig. 19. Houkhah, similar type as no. 13, height 21 cm, bell made of white and yellow metal, finely chiseled, Fig. 18. Houkhah India-persian, 16th Century, height 85 cm, bell receptacle made of black metal damascenes with silver, wooden stem, covered with ornamentation of leafed gold and silver. Metal bowl embellished with finely chiseled ornaments, Fig. 17. Kalioum from Samarkand (Russia), height 62 cm, wooden pipe, receptacle embellished with inlaid gold, painted surface provides background for ornaments, Fig. 14. Kalioum from Constantinople, height 54 cm, receptacle of enameled glass, leather stem, terra-cotta bowl, leather tube covered with silk, mouthpiece made of horn. Chibouks: Fig. 1. Pipe from Persia, length 27 cm, terra-cotta bowl, tube embellished with silk and gold filaments, stone mouthpiece, golden chain with two medallions, Fig. 4. Pipe of Arab chieftain from desert, length 82 cm, terra-cotta bowl, shaft consists of the interlocking tubes, covered with silk fabric, woolen pompom can be seen in the center, mouthpiece made of composite material of zinc and tar, Fig. 7. Turkish pipe, length 33 cm, bowl made of white and yellow metal, wooden pendant, shaft of painted wood, Fig. 6. Turkish pipe, 24 cm, made of wood damascened with silver, Fig. 16. Bachi-bozouk pipe, height 5 cm, bowl carved out of root, Fig. 2,8,9,10. Terra-cotta pipes from around Baghdad and Bassorah. Cigar holders: Fig. 3. Holder from Boukkarah, length 9 cm, gilded leather, Fig. 5,11. Persian holder, no. 5 is 21 cm long, filigreed silver, mouthpiece of fine stone, no. 11 is 9 cm long, silver bowl ornamented with foliage of filigreed gold, mouthpiece of fine stone, Fig. 20. Ashtray, made of wood, diameter 6 cm, red enameled leather, has a button for closing the opening.
For princely pipes such as the one manufacturered at Sèvres, only the best tobacco would have been used, and in 1887, it most likely was the Latakia from Syria rather than tobaccos grown in western Europe or the Americas.

According to Spire Blondel, who wrote the seminal book "Le Tabac: Le Livre des Fumeurs et des Priseurs" in 1891,with a preface by no other than the Baron de Watteville, is towards the latter part of the XVIth century that tobacco had made its way from the Occident to the Orient across the Bosphorus.

One thing for certain. in the middle of the XIXth century "Syria provided the finest tobacco  in the world, the Latakia, in the neighborhood of the ancient and renowned port of Laodicea at the foot of Mount Lebanon" according to Charles Dickens,

Charles Dickens, ca 1860
in the article titled "How the World Smokes" he authored in the January 23, 1860 issue of his journal All The Year Round.

First issue of All The Year Round, a weekly journal owned by Charles Dickens, 1859
Dickens elaborates:

"And as Syria provides the finest tobacco in the world, the Prince of Syria, the Emir Bekir, had the reputation one most deservedly, of furnishing to his guests a pipe of tobacco far more complete than any which could be furnished by any rival potentate in the East."

Dickens recalls being Emir Bekir's guest in the palace of Beit-ed-Deen, 

"in his presence, and prepared by his own servants, I smoked the most delicious chibouk which, in my long experience, I was ever privileged to enjoy; the pipes were not decorated as the pipes which Turkish and Egyptian pashas are wont to use: the bowls were of Stamboul clay, the tube of the straight cherry-sticks of Asia Minor, the mouthpiece of smooth solid amber, so pleasant to the touch, and to which the lips so easily accommodate themselves; but the tobacco was so carefully piled, the lighted cinder so nicely concealed in the centre, that the least puff filled the mouth with volumes of aroma, and before the pipe was exhausted another was brought in, a brass saucer placed on the ground to support the bowl, and the mouth piece presented to the guest by a kneeling attendant."

"L'imagination des fumeurs entrevoit l'Orient à travers le nuage odorant des tchibouqs et des nargilèhs." Blondel, 1891

On another occasion in 1840, Dickens continues, 

"On being in the presence of a Turkish dignitary, and invited to sit down in his divan, the last sounds he generally utters are, "Gel chibouk!" being a mandate to the attendants to bring pipes to the guests. The pipes are splendid, according to the rank of the visitor and the disposition of the host to do him honour."

"I was informed that the collection of pipes possessed by the one of the pashas had cost 30,000l. sterling, and it was said the diamonds which decorated a single pipe sometimes used by the Viceroy of Egypt, represented a tenth of that amount in value."

"Independently of rings of large diamonds around the amber mouthpiece, it is not unusual to see tassels of diamonds suspended from the pipe. But these very costly appurtenances are used only on rare occasions."

A coffret of amber mouthpieces (Private Collection)
(Private Collection)

(Private Collection)

(Private Collection)

"Stems of the cherry-tree and the jasmine are held to make the best pipe-sticks. They are sometimes covered with costly colored silks-the longer and the straighter the stems of the pipe the greater is its value. 

Tophane  à motifs estampés de croissants et étoiles rehaussée d'or et d'argent. Signé par Hüsnuï à Constantinople. Beau tuyau démontable (quatre parties) en bois noircit. Turquie, circa 1880. Long. : 63 cm. (Delorme & Collin du Bocage)

The bowls are ornamented and gilded, but are invariably of red clay."

Pipes available in Rosetta during the French occupation of Egypt (1798-1801) (État Moderne 1817 Tome Second, II.ème Partie: Planche ii drawn by the architect of the King Cécile)

Parts of the pipe-bowl (after Dekkel 2008:115 "Chapter 4: The Ottoman Cls". Paneas: Volume II, Small Find and Other Studies. Vassilios Tzaferis and Shoshana Israeli, Israel Antiquities Authority: Jerusalem.
Parts of the pipe-bowl (after Dekkel 2008:115 "Chapter 4: The Ottoman Cls". Paneas: Volume II, Small Find and Other Studies. Vassilios Tzaferis and Shoshana Israeli, Israel Antiquities Authority: Jerusalem.

Now it is time to enjoy a good smoke while sipping your coffee...

Coffee  hawker, late nineteenth - early twentieth century (from "Social History of Turkish Coffee"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ulmer Delphin Porcelain Pipe

For those who follow the Ulm wood pipes (aka Ulmer), this is one of the very few beautiful examples of a porcelain bowl assuming the shape of the Ulmer Delphin (dolphin) style. 

Several in this unique class are in circulation, but this is the first example that exhibits the Delphin format, rather than the sleek format.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Meerschaum and Amber Pipe-Making Tools

These three plates illustrate the type of tools that a carver used at his bench to shape, carve, incise, and etch meerschaum pipes, cheroot and cigarette holders. Several of these same instruments were used to shape amber mouthpieces. G. M. Raufer, "Die Meerschaum und Bernstein Fabrikation" (Wien, 1876).

According to accounts of the period, carvers made their own tools to suit their individual needs.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Frederick III Coronation Pipe (1888)

Frederick III, born in 1831, was the only son of William I, King of Prussia, who was crowned German Emperor on January 18th, 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors in the Versailles Palace, after the capitulation of Napoléon III in Sedan, while the rebellious Paris was still under siege by the Prussian army.

Frederick III, 1858

In 1858, Frederick married Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Princess Victoria, 1858

The marriage took place on the 25 January 1858 in the Chapel of St. James's Palace in London.

On William's death at the age of 90 on 9 March 1888, the throne passed to Frederick, who had by then been Crown Prince for 27 years.

Frederick III in 1875

This very finely carved meerschaum pipe belongs to the collection of the Science Museum London where it is described as representing the figures of Frederick III (1831-1888) and his wife Victoria (1840-1901).  It is likely that the pipe was made to celebrate his coronation in 1888.

The pipe measures 345 mm in length.

6" high, 13" long, Collection of the Science Museum London

The coat of arms carved on the front of the bowl is the Order of the Garter in England, an honour Frederick received at the time of his marriage.

The shield bears an inscription in French "Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense" (Evil to him who evil thinks) and the banner reads "Dieu et Mon Droit" ( God and My Right). The shield is supported by the English Lion to the left and the Scottish Licorne to the right.

It seems appropriate at this point to introduce two exceptional pipe finely decorated with a carving of the Order of the Garter,

First Half of XIXth century

Late XIXth century. Courtesy The Antique Pipe Co.

Unfortunately Emperor Frederick III died the day after his daughter Princess Sophie's birthday less than four months after his coronation...

German Emperor Friedrich III of Germany - The End Of A Brave Life, published around 1888 in Puck (magazine), USA

The premature death of a progressive and anglophile leader who, as the Crown Prince, often opposed the conservative Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, has been considered by many historians as a turning point in German history.