Thursday, February 22, 2018

19th Century Viennese Beauties

A large, complex pipe whose motif is believed to be a late 19th C. interpretation of The Three Graces astride the shank, rococo scroll and foliate decoration, silver wind cover with amber insert and amber mouthpiece, 11" in length, 4-1/2" in height. Late 19th C. European. 

Antonio Canova’s statue, The Three Graces, carved between 1814-1817, is a Neoclassical sculpture, in marble, of the mythological three charites, daughters of Zeus – identified on some engravings of the statue as, from left to right, Euphrosyne, Aglaea and Thalia - who were said to represent youth/beauty (Thalia), mirth (Euphrosyne), and elegance (Aglaea).

We believe that these there ladies may very well be a more contemporary expression from this unknown European pipe carver.

of those three faces, one especially captures the eye...

but it is the half human-half vegetal carving on the front of the bowl that confirms beyond any reasonable doubt that the carver of this pipe was a uniquely talented and inspired sculptor...

From the Arno Ziesnitz Meerschaum Pipe Collection/Locati LLC Auction House

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Barton's Beauty

It is not often that we collectors encounter an unusual or eye-popping, jaw-dropping meerschaum pipe, but, occasionally, we do. There are not enough descriptive adjectives in the English language to assign to this monumental meerschaum pipe. It is a carver's liberal interpretation of the mythical Poseidon (Neptune), God of the seas. This statuesque carving is 8-½" in height.


It once belonged to an exceptionally devoted antique pipe collector, J. Trevor Barton of England, who passed away in 2008. 

It was in the auction in London at Christie's in September 2010, described as "Carved with a figure of Poseidon, nereids, and sea horses, gilt silver and coral mounted, inscribed ST. FRENZEL, Wien, the finial of Poseidon at rest in a grotto, amber mouthpiece." 

In our opinion, the catalog description did not give this exquisite sculpture its due respect. It is an absolute marvel in balance, detail, and finesse, with in-the-round carving throughout. 

Not surprisingly, a successful bidder appreciated this fine specimen. The House estimate was $2,300 - $3,800. The lucky bidder purchased it for $13,606!