Corozo Pipe

(Collection: Giles Kleiber)

 

This Corozo pipe is from my own Collection.   The corozo, or tagua, nut comes from the ivory-nut palm of equatorial South America.  It can be easily carved when it is fresh and becomes very hard when it is dry.  It is often called the “ivory nut” since it resembles animal ivory and can be used to carve a variety of items such as buttons and even pipes.

This particular pipe was carved by French prisoners in Guyana called "bagnards" in about 1850.  These pipes usually depict political or mythological scenes.  This example has an image of the god Neptune with his horses as well as a child with a fish tail blowing in a shell surrounded by decorative flowers.  The stem is made of exotic wood, corozo, wooden rings with a flexible hose and mouthpiece.

Fig. 2: (left) detail showing the child blowing a sea shell; (right) Neptune

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