Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fantastical Smoking Set

This is probably not a salesman’s kit, more likely a custom-configured, special order set--nested in a fitted leather case with locking mechanism--for a gentleman pipe smoker.

Accompanying the three mid-19th Century meerschaum pipe bowls are three different, interchangeable push stems and their associated mouthpieces.

A very interesting aspect is the mix of materials that comprises each stem: ivory, amber, gilt- and silver-inlay on mother-of-pearl, silver cutwork, turned buffalo horn, piqué work, niello, and silk thread tassels … quite an assortment that hints that this set was probably very pricey in its day.

Prob. German or Austrian, c. 1850-1860.

Courtesy of the João Pavão Martins Collection