Friday, June 12, 2015

Paul Lanier ( 1932 - 11 June 2015)

Saint-Claude pipe sculptor Paul Lanier passed away yesterday at the age of 83.

  He lived his life to the fullest,

Paul Lanier, 4 years old, with a dream

Saint-Claude rugby team, Paul Lanier is center front row, 1953

Trans. "Watch out for those two! They look quite respectable, and then they start making acrobaties in restricted areas! JUST LIKE THIS GUY PAUL LANIER!" Cartoon by Jacques Faizant. N.D.R. It is rumored by sources that wish to remain anonymous, that Paul flew above the field of the local stadium at a strictly forbidden height during the opening ceremony of local festivities.

"Running out of imagination, I don't know what that is,"

"I had the chance of learning a trade that I loved my whole life,"

"whether it takes two or three weeks, I don't care, I am having fun,"

"I never get bored."

Throughout the years, numerous personalities and Premiers Fumeurs de France, whose portrait he carved, saluted his unique talent,

Bernard Blier, 1977

Roger Rocher, 1978

Henri Verneuil, 1978

Jacques Faizant, 1980

Jean Poiret, 1982

Michel Malinovsky, 1984

Claude Brosset, 1985

Bertrand Blier, 1985

Robert Lamoureux, 1986

Michel Drucker, 1987

Louis Le Prince Ringuet, 1987

Claude Chabrol, 1988

Jack Dieval, 1989

Francis Perrin, 1990

Pierre Miquel, 1991

Gérard D'Aboville, 1992

Nino Ferrer, 1993

Michel Field, 1994

Jean-Louis Foulquier, 1996

Paul Bocuse, 1998

Charles Villers, 2000

Raymond Forni, 2001

André Santini, 2006

Patrick-Louis Vuitton, 2007

Lanier will be remembered as a pipe sculptor of exception and a true free-spirit.

"Les Blés" by Lanier

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pipe, Tobacco and Snuff in 18th century France

On 1 September 1715 Louis XV succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV on the French throne at the age of five. Philippe II, Duke of Orléans would serve as Regent of France until his majority in 1723.

Louis XV as a child in coronation robes, portrait by Rigaud

In 1723, Jacques Savary des Brûlons wrote in his Dictionnaire du Commerce

Second Edition of 1765

an entry on the Pipe. "Made from very fine clay it is used to smoke tobacco. There is a broad variety of shapes, short ones, long ones, ornate or plain, white or varnished, and varnished of different colors". Despite some production in Rouen, France, "the pipes from Gouda, Holland are preferred for their rectitude, beautiful shape and very fine clay".

Interestingly enough, retailers had to bear the cost of broken merchandise during shipping...

"What is called Brûle-gueule is nothing other than a pipe with a stem broken to a length of 5 to 6 pouces (5"-6")" des Brûlons noted.

Tobacco pipes from Holland were subject to duty taxes of 3 livres per twelve dozens ("per grosse") as per the 1699 import Tariffs. Tobacco pipes imported from countries other than Holland would be taxed 24 s. per gross as per the Decree of July 3, 1692.

Members of the French Court were known to carry tobacco rasps.  

Carved Ivory Rasp, Dieppe, ca 1750

Louis XV favored tobacco snuff boxes ("tabatières") when it came to offering presents to dignitaries. 

Planche 5 from "Second livre de taille d'espargne et de bas reliefs en esmail, ou noir d'escaille, Bas reliefs pour tabatières et ouvrages d'Orlogie. Par J. Bourguet Marchand à Paris. Se vend chez l'auteur Place Dauphine à Paris. 1723"
In 1725, to celebrate the marriage of the King with princess Marie Leczinka, daughter of Stanislas, King of Poland, an amber snuff-box worth 1,200 livres was offered to the Queen of Poland by Marie.

Maria Leszczyńska in 1730, by Alexis Simon Belle

On February 3, 1726, Louis XV welcomed the baron Cornelis Hop, ambassador of Holland (1685-1762) to the Court of France

Cornelis Hop was the Dutch ambassador to Paris from 1718 to 1725

and presented him with this gold, enameled and diamond incrusted snuff-box. It is the oldest in the Louvre collections and cost 7,270 livres.

Entirely made of gold, inset with enamel and diamonds, this snuffbox is the oldest in the Louvre, and one of the rare diplomatic snuffboxes that has been preserved. Inside the lid are two miniatures depicting Louis XV and Maria Leczinska. In 1726, Louis XV gave this work by the goldsmith Daniel Govaers to Baron Cornelis Hop, ambassador of Holland (1685-1762). Musée du Louvre, Paris.

This second masterpiece is dated 1727.

The central panel of this shell-shaped tobacco box is adorned with a relief representing the sun, whose gilded rays are alternately embellished with fifty-six diamonds and twenty-six emeralds. Around this panel are further sun-beams, mingled with clouds against a sanded, matt background, giving rise to an attractive play of glittering and muted light. The box is chased with a frieze of vine branches, flowers and ribbons, also on a sanded ground. The front features a cartouche enclosing a shell, set with a large diamond. The sumptuous materials, florid curved forms and naturalistic motifs surrounding the Royal sun anticipate the emerging rocaille style. Govaers was one of the most respected Parisian goldsmiths in the first half of the eighteenth century. The box is remarkable for its highly refined chasing and skillfully-mounted stones. Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Inside the lid, under a crystal plaque, is a bust of the youthful Louis XV, wearing armor and an ermine cloak adorned with fleurs-de-lis. This portrait of the adolescent monarch may be attributed to Jean-Baptiste Massé (1687-1767), miniaturist to the king and supplier of royal gifts. The artist has produced a work of exceptional quality here, inverting an engraving by Nicolas IV de Larmessin (1684-1755) after a portrait by Jean-Baptiste van Loo (1684-1745). Musée du Louvre, Paris.

The border of the box bears the inscription "Donné par le Roi Louis XV au Syndic Louis Le Fort 1727." The latter probably received this tobacco box as a gift during his visit to Paris in 1727 to discuss relations between France and Geneva, with the minister of foreign affairs. The box is one of the rare diplomatic gifts of its kind to have survived. Govaers enjoyed the patronage of the young Louis XV and the royal court very early in his career. Between 1725 and 1736, he supplied the royal gift department with several tobacco boxes, which the King subsequently presented to visiting diplomats. Musée du Louvre, Paris.

On 27 April 1733, a snuff-box by Gouers of Paris, incrusted with diamonds and portraits of the King and the Queen painted by Massé, and costing 10,680 livres, was presented to the Comte Potocki, who came to the French Court to announce the death of the King of Poland.

On 13 January 1766, a red-lacquered snuff-box with the portrait of the King surrounded by diamonds, costing 23,601 livres, was presented to M. de Santa-Cruz, embassador from Spain who came bearing the news of the marriage of the Infant of Parme with the Prince of Asturies.

Between 1751 and 1772, The Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers, par une Société de Gens de Lettres was published under the direction of Diderot and d'Alembert, with 17 volumes of text and 11 volumes of plates .

Four plates illustrated the clay pipe manufacturing process from preparation of the clay to molding and firing in a kiln.

The clay is ready for use and is divided into small pieces of sufficient size to make a pipe. These pieces are rolled by hand into the rough shape of a pipe (the blanks) of appropriate length and thickness (Fig 19). The blanks are laid aside for one day or two till sufficiently dry for molding. The molder takes the roll of clay and forms the bore by inserting a long needle (iron wire Fig 18, Fig 20, Fig 21) through the center of the stem guiding it with the fingers of the left hand to insure its being exactly in the center.
The blank still containing the needle is then placed inside the brass mold (Fig 23) which consists of two pieces, each piece being impressed with the shape of half of the pipe,
The mold is next placed in a vice fixed to the bench and the two pieces are firmly pressed together (Fig 24, Fig 25, Fig 26).
By pressing the iron stopper (Fig 27), a piece of metal formed in the shape of the inside of the bowl, inside the opening of the mold and tapping it up and down, the inside of the bowl is shaped.
When the stopper is removed, the piercing rod is pushed inward to connect the bowl with the stem hole. Then the mold is opened, the pipe is removed and excess clay (mold lines) is trimmed.
The pipe are next taken to the drying room till perfectly dry and hard, the needle being left in the stem to prevent bending or warping during drying.
The pipe (Fig 28) is now ready to be placed in a sagger, a cylindrical container of refractory clay (Fig 30, Fig 31, Fig 34)

Tobacco smoking continued to spread like wild fire and the demand for quality clay pipes equally grew. In 1765, the Fiolet pipe manufacturer started its operations in Saint-Omer

Carte de Cassini du Bois royal de Clairmarais ca 1750

The clay, extracted from Desvres, compared favorably with the one from Andenne used by Gouda pipe makers.

Le Pas de Calais au Dix Neuvieme Siècle

On May 16, 1770 the Dauphin Louis-Auguste of France married Marie-Antoinette Archduchess of Austria.

Marriage Ceremony in Versailles, 1770
The contents of the wedding corbeille were distributed by the Dauphiness among her suite, and consisted of snuff-boxes, fans, watches, gold and enamel étuis, scissors, scent-bottles and articles of jewellery.

In 1771, Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau, a member of the French Royal Academy of Science, wrote "L' Art De Faire Les Pipes À Fumer Le Tabac".

Du Monceau recorded clay pipe manufacturers in Rouen, Saint-Omer and Dunkerque as well as a wide variety of shapes being manufactured," pipes with a talon and pipes without a talon (without a  "heel") called cajottes or cachottes, with or without motif; the pipes with a talon being divided into long, mid size or demi longue and short; these three categories relative to the size of the bowl being further divided between large, mid-size and small; the same pipes à talon relative to the inclination of the bowls can be classified as croches, where the axis of the bowl is at a right angle with the stem, or demi-croches where the inclination of the bowl is half way between that of the croches and the common pipes.  With respect to the length of the bowl, short pipes with a talon are divided into large or small, engraved ginguettes and plain ginguettes; and lastly relative to the shape of the talon and the top of the bowl, one can discern the pipes à talon as pipes with a common talon or the English or English-inspired pointed talon ".

Figure 2 is of a long pipe with talon and a motif around the bowl of the Armories of King Louis XV manufactured in Dunkerque. This pipe shape is the Flanders, and the grosse which is twelve dozens or 144 is sold for 6 livres 10 f. when loaded from the manufacturer premises. The length of the stem is 21 French inches or pouces (20"); the bowl is 2 pouces (1.9"), the diameter of the bowl is .8" L' Art De Faire Les Pipes À Fumer Le Tabac, 1771

In 1774 Louis XV died and his successor to the throne of France, Louis XVI

similarly favored snuff boxes as presents to the Court, allies and visiting dignitaries. He preferred snuff boxes made of ivory, ebony and tortoise shell .

translucid blond tortoise shell snuff box with gold piqué and gold posé of the portrait of Louis XVI. Courtesy Private Collection

translucid blond tortoise shell snuff box with gold piqué and gold posé of the portrait of Louis XVI. Courtesy Private Collection

Queen Marie-Antoinette, represented here by her favorite painter Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun,

Portrait of Marie Antoinette, 1783, by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun.

who herself was a pipe smoker,

Self portrait by Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun, 1790-1830, ex Dunhill Collection. Property of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum

was known to offer tobacco snuff boxes 

Gold and enamel snuff-box, miniature painted by Maximilien Vachette representing Madame Royale and her brother the dauphin. 1784-1785

to members of her Court,

XVIIIth century engraving, Bibliothèque Nationale

but also to have commissioned ivory pipes carved in Dieppe.

Piasa auction catalog, lot 46, “Collection Musée de la SEITA,” September 18, 2009, 19. Photo courtesy Piasa.

French soldiers liked to relax with a pipe.

Costumes Militaires: uniforme de l'infanterie française 1780

In 1780, Jean Gambier set up a clay pipe manufacturing activity in Givet with easy access to  the clay from Andenne, the very clay Gouda pipe makers favored.

A 13th century French representation of the tripartite social order of the middle ages - Oratores: "those who pray," Bellatores: "those who fight," and Laboratores: "those who work."

Under the absolute ruling of the King, France was divided into a medieval three tiered social order, the Three Estates

The First Estate comprised 10,000 Catholic clergy and owned 5–10% of the lands in France—the highest per capita of any estate. All property of the First Estate was tax exempt. The Second Estate comprised the nobility, which consisted of 400,000 persons at the time, including women and children. Since the death of Louis XIV in 1715, the nobles had enjoyed a resurgence in power. They had almost a monopoly over distinguished government service, higher church offices, army parliaments, and most other public and semi public honors by the time of the revolution. Like the First Estate, they were not taxed by the principle of feudal precedent. The Third Estate comprised about 25 million people: the bourgeoisie, the peasants, and everyone else in France. [wikipedia]

A caricature from that time speaks amply about the state of mind of the Third Estate ("le Tiers Etat"),

so does a pamphlet.

"What is the Third Estate? Everything; what is its role in politics? None; What does it want? To become something"

In May 1789  King Louis XVI summoned the Three Estates to a General Assembly ("Les Etats Généraux") to propose solutions to the massive kingdom deficit.

Les Etats Généraux where 600 representatives from the Third Estate, 300 from the First Estate and 300 from the Second Estate congregated. The Marquis de Lafayette was a popular elected member of the Etats Généraux

The discussion lasted weeks and reached an impasse.

The Three Smokers. The Third Estate smoking a pipe:" I smoke in peace The essence of freedom".

The sans-culottes, the common people of the lower classes, most of them peasants and urban laborers served as the driving force behind the popular uprise that followed.

Pipe Smoking Sans Culottes
On the morning of 14 July 1789, an army of angry sans-culottes stormed the Bastille fortress in Paris signaling the fall of Monarchy in France and the rise of the République.

Snuff Box depicting the storming of the Bastille fortress.

On 15 July, The Marquis of Lafayette, who had returned as a hero for his role in the American Revolutionary War, was acclaimed commander-in-chief of the National Guard of France, an armed force established to maintain order, and under the control of the Assembly.

Lafayette successfully lobbied the Assembly to adopt the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen," a document he drafted in cooperation with Thomas Jefferson

The Declaration was signed into law on 26 August 1789.


 On 17 March 1790, Lafayette sent this letter together with a key from the Bastille fortress to George Washington, then President of the Unites States:

The Key to the Bastille (Mount Vernon Ladies' Association)

 My dear General

[...] Our Revolution is Getting on as Well as it Can With a Nation that Has Swalled up liberty all at once, and is still liable to Mistake licentiousness for freedom—the Assembly Have More Hatred to the Ancient System than Experience on the proper Organisation of a New, and Constitutional Governement—the Ministers are lamenting the loss of power, and Affraid to use that which they Have—and As Every thing has been destroied and Not much New Building is Yet Above Ground, there is Much Room for Critics and Calomnies.

to this May be Added that We still are Pestered By two parties, the Aristocratic that is panting for a Counter Revolution, and the factious Which Aims at the division of the Empire, and destruction of all Authority and perhaps of the lives of the Reigning Branch, Both of which parties are fomenting troubles.

And after I Have Confessed all that, My dear General, I will tell you With the Same Candour that We Have Made an Admirable, and Almost incredible destruction of all abuses, prejudices. that Every thing Not directly Useful to, or Coming from the people Has been levelled—that in the topographical, Moral, political Situation of France We Have Made More changes in ten Months than the Most Sanguine patriot could Have imagined—that our internal troubles and Anarchy are Much exagerated—and that upon the whole this Revolution, in which Nothing will be wanting But Energy of Governement just as it was in America, Will propagate implant liberty and Make it flourish throughout the world, while We must wait for a Convension in a few years to Mend Some defects which are not Now perceived By Men just Escaped from Aristocracy and despotism. [...]
Let me, My dear General,  present you With a picture of the Bastille just as it looked a few days after I Had ordered its demolition, with the Main Key of that fortress of despotism—it is a tribute Which I owe as A Son to My Adoptive father, as an aid de Camp to My General, as a Missionary of liberty to its patriarch.

Adieu, My Beloved General, My Most Affectionate Respects Wait on Mrs Washington, present me most affectionately to George, to Hamilton, Knox, Harrison, Jay, Humphrey and all friends Most tenderly and respectfully 

Your Most Affectionate and filial friend

Upon receipt of Lafayette's letter, Washington responded on 11 August 1790:

Lansdowne portrait of George Washington painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796

My dear Marquis,

I have received your affectionate letter of the 17 of March by one conveyance, and the token of victory gained by Liberty over Despotism by another: for both which testimonials of your friendship and regard I pray you to accept my sincerest thanks.

In this great subject of triumph for the new World, and for humanity in general, it will never be forgotten how conspicuous a part you bore, and how much lustre you reflected on a country in which you made the first displays of character.

Happy am I, my good friend, that, amidst all the tremendous benefits which have assailed your political Ship, you have had address and fortitude enough to steer her hitherto safely through the quick-sands and rocks, which threatened instant destruction on every side; and your young King in all things seems so well disposed to conform to the wishes of the Nation. In such an important, such a hazardous voyage, when every thing dear and sacred is embarked, you know full well my best wishes have never left you for a moment—Yet I will avow the accounts we received through the English papers (which were sometimes our only channels for information) caused our fears of a failure almost to exceed our expectations of success. How much will the Concerned be indebted to the exertions of the principal Pilot, when the Ship shall, at the end of her dangerous course, be securely harboured in the haven of national tranquillity, freedom, and glory, to which she is destined, and which I hope she is near attaining.[...]

 Adieu, my dear Marquis! Believe me to be assuredly and affectionately Your friend and humble Servant 

G. Washington

P.S. Not for the value of the thing, my dear Marquis, but as a memorial and because they are the manufacture of this City, I send you herewith a pair of shoe buckles

In the years that followed, a climate of fear and revenge pervaded French public life and tribunals where accused would be summarily judged and condemned became common place in France. In August 1792, after the radical factions ordered his arrest, Lafayette fled to Belgium.

Revolutionary tribunal 1793. Notice a clay pipe smoker standing second from the left

Die hard royalists would carry the weeping willow ("Saule Pleureur") snuff box where the portraits of Louis XVI, the Queen and Louis XVII appeared in the foliage of a weeping willow.

An economic crisis and successive wars would continue to plague France until the arrival on the political scene of a brilliant and ambitious general by the name of Bonaparte.

Bonaparte at the Pont d’Arcole is a 1796 painting by Antoine-Jean Gros, showing an episode during the battle of the pont d'Arcole, with general Bonaparte leading his troops to storm the bridge.