Imperial French alabaster pipe

2017-08-07

This featured pipe is an oddity, hand carved from a large, single piece of white alabaster.

 

On the front the pipe depicts the French imperial eagle, surrounded by low relief flowers. On the bottom is a depiction of Bacchus, the god of wine, surrounded by grape vines. The rear of the pipe has a cartouche with the text: "Souvenir du Sahara". And on the left and right ride of this pipe are the initials of the owner: B (left) and P (right).

 

This is a fairly large pipe, ca. 10 cm. tall and very heavy. This could not have been comfortable to smoke. This pipe was presumably carved by a French soldier during thew colonial period. Probably late 19th century (after 1884)

 

Fig. 1. Left side displaying one of the initials: "B".

Fig. 2. Right angle showing the elaborate relief carving .

Fig. 3. Top view.

Fig. 4. Right side displaying one of the initials: "P".

Fig. 5. Bottom view displaying the head of Bacchus.

Fig. 6. Another view from the top. .

 

 

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