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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Flemish Carved Boxwood Pocket Case for a Clay Pipe in the Form of a Turks Head"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
The eyes inlaid with glass. A small 19th century wood repair to the side of the head
Early 18th Century
Size: 27.5cm long – 10¾ ins long
Ex A.E Foster, Grosvenor House
Ex Private London collection
At inns and coffee houses it was customary to present free clean clay pipes for smoking on the premises, and these would then be roasted clean in a pipe kiln or roaster suspended from a ring over a charcoal fire, and given to the next customer.
Clay pipes were produced in a variety of lengths; short for the pocket and very long for leisurely use in the inn or at home. Because of their fragility cases were essential for those who carried their clay pipes in their pockets and the majority of these treen cases seem to have been plain, hollowed out of sycamore or birch and when old and worn were thrown away or burnt on the fire. Perhaps this rare and elaborate example survived because of its ornamental quality and beauty.