Wednesday, October 5, 2016

J. Sommer Meerschaum Cheroot Holder ca 1900

J. Sommer,

Aux Carrières d'Ecume

established 13 & 15 Passage des Princes, Paris

Built in 1860 Passage des Princes is a stone's throw from the Palais Garnier opera house and the large Parisian departments stores

received a Gold Medal at the Exposition Universelle, Paris 1900.

Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1900, Harpers Magazine

The international jury

was all praise...

MM. Sommer frères are the principal manufacturers in France of meerschaum pipes and cheroot holders and amber cigarette holders; they also manufacture in briar root, with amber stems, of top quality. Their pieces have a real artistic cachet and are appreciated for their quality of finish. Among the pieces on display by MM. Sommer frères and the sculpture of which was particularly admired, we will mention the pipes with iris flowers, a tulip in art-nouveau style, a superb african head and a few others, owing to the talent of true artists.

The iris was a favorite of Art Nouveau artists,

Magnolias and Irises Panel is based on an original Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848–1933), Metroplolitan Museum

Iris Brooch, c. 1900-1901, Tiffany & Co

French Art Nouveau Bronze Iris Candlestick by Jozon

This cheroot holder of an iris flower bud unfurling its petals marks the apogee of French meerschaum carvers' finesse and elegance around the turn of the century.

6.5" length 3." height

A close-up reveals the almost translucent meerschaum,

Marked Gold Medals 1878, 1889 & 1900.

(Courtesy of a Private Collection)