Carved wooden pipes
The erica arborea, the root wood of the Mediterranean heather, is used as a material for smoking pipes from about 1850 onwards. This root is almost incombustible and does not have any influence on the taste of the tobacco nor the smoke.
With sharp knives and chisels a pipe maker can carve the briar to figurals just like the meerschaum pipes, apart from the fact that briar is extremely hard to work. From 1850 onwards carvers started producing pipes in unexpected designs. A well-known early carver is the skilful Charles Harnisch.
In the early twentieth century the fashion for figurative pipes continues as a curio next to the plain pipes. A certain series of them were mass products, made with the aid of a reduction machine. Wide spread examples are the portraits of Voltaine and Bacchus. Next to these, unique specimen were made in Saint-Claude in the French Jura.
In the United States and Canada the carving of quality pipes got a new impetus after the Second World War. A famous and skilful carver is the American Stanley Jarka, who made beautiful pipes in the seventies of the last century. The subjects being modern, the techniques never changed. In the meantime the stems changed from buffalo horn and vulcanite to colourful acrylic.
All objects on this page are part of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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