Caved meerschaum pipe, Vienna, Austria, 1871-1890
This pipe is decorated with the face of a black man of African descent, wearing a basketwork hat and a bow-tie. This type of decoration was common due to the fact that from the 1600slarge numbers of Africans were enslaved in order to work on tobacco plantations in the southern United States. The pipe is made from a material called meerschaum, a white coloured clay like mineral. It can be ornately carved to produce highly decorated pipe bowls, often with faces or human figures. The mouthpiece is made from amber.
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Glossary: meerschaum tobacco pipe