Gnarled Boxwood Tobacco Pipe

c. 1850
$2,880 USD
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W: 31.25" D: 3.0" H: 1.5"
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This monumental Chinese pipe is beautifully sculpted with a long boxwood handle shaped to resemble a branch gnarled with knots and burls. Although its grand size recalls large bamboo opium pipes, the 19th-century pipe would have been used for smoking finely shredded tobacco. The pipe is complete with a large silver-plated brass bowl at one end and a carved bone mouthpiece at the other.

A popular material during the Qing dynasty, boxwood (huangyangmu) was an ideal wood for carving due to its fine grain and density, which allowed artists to carve intricate designs with great precision. Because it retains its leaves through harsh winters and summer droughts, boxwood is also regarded as highly auspicious, a symbol of endurance and strength.

Often these fine tobacco pipes were paired with decorative accessories - in this case, a pinewood carrying case and a knotted silk tassel. A keepsake from a bygone era, this unusual pipe captivates as an elegant sculptural object.

Additional Dimensions:
Box: 33"W x 4.5"D x 2.5"H
Pipe: 31.25"W x 3"D x 1.5"H
Tassel: 1"Dia x 11"H

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