Friday, April 29, 2016

Two Extraordinary Porcelain Pipes

As described by Ben Rapaport in The European Porcelain Pipe, Illustrated History for Collectors, 2014, 

"On October 20, 2000, in the Altstad area of Heidelberg, Germany, Metz Auktion GmbH offered a hithertofore little-known collection of antique pipes from a small tobacco shop in Basel, Switzerland. Among the more than 500 antique and vintage pipes were several hand painted Meissen pipe bowls and two rare porcelain pipes in fitted cases. (Encountering a porcelain pipe in a fitted case is a rare occurrence, and finding two at the same time is an incredible coincidence.)

Lot 89 was a most atypical Gestekpfeife: an extraordinary gilt-trimmed Meissen pipe bowl (c. 1820) with a hand painted scene of what might have been an artist's contemporary rendition of "The Three Graces", 

that acclaimed white-marble statue from the deft hand of Antonio Canova, the quintessential nineteenth-century Italian sculptor; 

accompanying this bowl was an even more remarkable en-suite porcelain stem and mouthpiece, an extraordinary characteristic given porcelain's fragility.

Lot 303, attributed to (prob.) Wilhelm Kaspar Wegely of the Berlin manufactory (c. 1751-1757), was a gilt-trimmed Ulmer shaped pipe bowl with a hand painted scene of a soldier encampment reminiscent of a dedication to Frederick the Great

Frederick the Great before the Battle of Torgau (1791) by Bernhard Rode. "Prior to the Battle of Torgau, Frederick the Great halts with his army to fill a swamp in order to bring the cannons across it. Next to him, General Ziethen has fallen asleep. A soldier's wife comes and sets a pot of potatoes on the king's fire without noticing him and blows into the fire so that ash flies into his face. The king smiles." (Catalog of the Exhibition of the Berlin Academy, 1793)

 accompanied by a three-piece, turned wood stem

with a buffalo-horn mouthpiece.

(Courtesy Private Collector)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Amber Ulm Pipe

You are looking at a rare utensil of smoke, 

a very fascinating objet d'art, 

an Ulmer pipe crafted wholly from a solid block of rich orange amber, 

and accompanied by a turned orange-yellow amber stem, 

assembled from several discrete pieces. 

This pipe belonged, at a time, in the Erik Stokkebye Pipe Collection assembled in Odense, Denmark and brought to the United States in the 1980s by his son, Peter Stokkebye. The collection was eventually sold.

This is the wind cover with thumb lift of the amber Ulmer containing a glass insert in which is embedded a silver bust of someone of importance.

Courtesy of the Sarunas Peckus Pipe Collection.