French figural pipes > About the collection

Themes and significance
A diversity of themes is represented in the pipe collection. Many monarchs can be identified on the pipe bowls as can mythological themes and flora and fauna.

There were roughly six leading factories in 19th century France. Each of the factories had its own characteristics, both in the choice of themes and in design.
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Production process
The manufacture of figural pipes was similar to that of clay pipes, making use of molds. In order to enable a free design of the bowl, a loose stem of cherry wood was used.

Clay pipes were a fragile utensil. It is therefore remarkable that so many pipes have remained intact over the past 150 years, giving us the opportunity to continue to enjoy this 19th century miniature art.

Examples from this collection French figural pipes

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