Featured Stick it in your Pipe

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by Chris Mount, May 16, 2018.

  1. Chris Mount

    Chris Mount Getting there

    Hi all believe this may be ebony but not sure. Any ideas on ager and origin. 15264588437610.jpg 15264590013727.jpg 15264588705014.jpg 15264588704503.jpg 15264588705205.jpg 15264588438091.jpg
     
  2. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Very nice, Chris.
     
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  3. all_fakes

    all_fakes Well-Known Member

    The bowl is most likely ebony; the stem is unlikely to be ebony, because there would be no way to carve it in a curved shape with an airway, and it could not be bent after carving. Stems are commonly made from a hard black material, technically a type of hard rubber, though it is not flexible. This can be bent to shape after being gently heated. Cheaper stems may be plastic.
    A hard rubber stem can be distinguished from plastic (or wood) by burning the dust produced by filing or sanding; it will smell like burnt rubber, burnt plastic, or burnt wood.
    I doubt you want to file anything off it however; though one might do some gentle filing or sanding if the stem were too tight in the socket.
     
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  4. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    I strongly suspect it's West African, probably Gold Coast. Face and dog are very Benin/Dahomey.
     
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  5. Chris Mount

    Chris Mount Getting there

    Spot on all fakes the stem Is made of a different substance I will have a good look when I am awake to see what it is. Thanks to all as always.
     
    judy and Any Jewelry like this.
  6. all_fakes

    all_fakes Well-Known Member

    Yes. The hard-rubber pipestem material might be tricky to identify unless you've done some pipe-making. One might think it plastic, but it has a softer "ring" on the teeth than plastic, which is why it makes a more comfortable stem for a smoker than plastic. Plastic is also not as amenable to bending to a desired curve, compared to the hard rubber.
    Sold to the trade in unfinished straight form, hard rubber pipestems have an airway, but are unpolished.
    One needs to file off any excess flashing, shape the end to fit the pipe-socket, and polish, using a series of progressively finer grits. During this process the smell of heated rubber is unmistakable.
    If bending to a curve, one puts a pipe-cleaner down the stem to prevent collapse of the airway. The curve of your stem looks just like what I'd expect from this process, as does the socket end; one doesn't usually polish that end.
     
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