Figural clay pipes

Next to the popular stemmed clay pipe a new type of pipe is born in the early 19th century. This so-called stubstemmed pipe has a short stem ending in a collar suitable to fit with a stem of bamboo, wood, reed or vulcanite. Stubstemmed pipes are less breakable, which gives the pipe maker the freedom of applying a more elaborate decoration. Especially portraits and even complete persons have been depicted in these types of pipes.

Fashion starts in the early nineteenth century and soon this pipe becomes a rage. French pipe makers design endless series of figurals depicting famous or notorious persons: the murderess Charlotte Corday, the lovers of the French kings, as well as politicians and statesmen. Poets and writers, exotic persons are to be found as a pipe, in the end even death and the devil.

The figural pipe is a mass product, formed in a two- or more parted press mould, by itself an ingenious piece of mould makers craftsmanship. The most important factories are Gambier and Blanc-Garin from the Northern-French town of Givet and Duméril and Fiolet from the city of Saint-Omer.

The ultimate flourish of the stubstemmed pipe takes place in the middle of the nineteenth century, although production continues till far in the twentieth century. In course of time the subjects change from exclusive to ordinary, so is the target group changing from intellectual to lower layers of society. Also the work itself is getting less interesting: the fine modelling disappears and makes place for more general depictions in a rather crude quality.

the Greekse poet Anacreon depicted in a pipe bowl and coloured as smoked meerschaum, Firm P. Goedewaagen & Sons, Gouda, Holland, 1880-1910 portrait of the famous sculptor François Rude, firm L. Fiolet, Saint-Omer, France, 1870-1890
front of the Anacreon bowl finished with a calcined laquer to resemble smoked meerschaum, firm P. Goedewaagen & Sons, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1880-1910
attractively modelled portrait of a monk, red backing clay with white enamel, unknown factory, France, 1870-1890
the sjah of Persia in a luxourious gilt and coloured finish, Bonnaud Frères, Marseille, France, 1880-1900
pipe bowl shaped as a naked lady, Firm L. Fiolet, Saint-Omer, France, 1850-1880
portrait of William Gladstone with characteristic collar, Louis Fiolet, Saint-Omer, France, 1880-1900
front of the naked lady, Firm L. Fiolet, Saint-Omer, France, 1850-1880
imposing bust of La Charette, firm L. Fiolet, Saint-Omer, France, 1870-1890 bust of a man wearing a fez, the hat and stub are mounted in engraved silver, Louis Fiolet, Saint-Omer, France, 1850-1870
curious pipe with metal lid, the smoke leaves the pipe by the mouth of the person, Cretal-Gallard, Rennes, France, 1840-1850
unusual pipe with the bust of a man with wine glass, a stand on de base, Duméril Leurs & Cie, Saint-Omer, France, 1860-1880 mignonette, the smallest pipe available, here with a bearded man, Dutel-Gisclon, Montereau, France, 1870-1890
Bacchant fitted with its original wooden stem, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1880-1900
selfportrait of the artist and sculptor Dantan Jeune, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1860-1890 portrait pipe of queen Wilhelmina, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1898-1900
presentation pipe showing Diane de Poitiers covered with a lid on the top, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1860-1885
presentation pipe with text Pipes Gambier and three labourers of the factory, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1849
figurale tobacco pipe with the bust of Nana Saib, Alexis Picard, Rennes, France, 1855-1875
portrait of Maria de Medicis but named Catherine de Medicis, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1860-1885 back of the Maria de Medicis pipe with a Bacchant between scrolwork, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1860-1885
propaganda pipe for the American president MacDonald, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1900-1910
pipe bowl animalized as a sitting dog with inscription "Attention", firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1890-1900
elegant woman with lace dress and flowers in her hair, Louis Fiolet, Saint-Omer, France, 1860-1880
the legendaric Louise de la Vallière as pipe bowl, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1870-1890
original design with a horn together with the head of a hunting dog, Duméril Leurs, Saint-Omer, France, 1850-1870
portrait of a negro, Alexis Picard, CPB, Rennes, France, 1860-1880 figural bowl representing Punch, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1880-1900
bust of pope Pius IX, firm Louis Fiolet, Saint-Omer, France, 1860-1880
general design of Jupiter in production in various pipe factories, Jean-Jacques Knoedgen, Brée, Belgium, 1880-1910
the bust of the italian king Victor Emmanuel II, Noel Frères, Lyon, France, 1860-1885
the famous bahut de Saint-Cyr, a soldier on a potty, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1890-1900
historical person fully enameled in colourfull painting, Dutel-Gisclon, Montereau, France, 1885-1895
pipe bowl representing the head of an elephant, firm J. Gambier, Givet, France, 1880-1900
hand modelled bowl in red terra cotta, Bretagne, 1840-1870
the laughing boy in three different enamel colours, Jean Jacques Knoedgen, Brée, Belgium, 1880-1900 tobacco pipe shaped as a munk, the pipe bowl is the beerglass in his hands, England, 1890-1910
pipe bowl modelled by hand representing a soldier, J. Viette, Bretagne, France, 1860-1890
All objects on this page are part of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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