Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pipe smoker: Nick Merfelder

click to enlarge

Nick Merfelder petting his dog in Fort Davis in 1896. Mr. Merfelder was born in Bavaria, immigrated to the United States as a young man, and eventually ended up in Fort Davis, Texas. He was the post's musician, barber, photographer, and justice of the peace.

Thanks to Traces of Texas (Facebook link).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A picturesque but unnamed pipe smoker

A man of the Svan people with traditional dagger and long pipe in the village of Mestia in the mountains of Georgia, Russian Empire, circa 1888-1900.

via My Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck By Lightning

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pipe, not pipe...wait a minute--pipe!

The Chokwe peoples occupy the broad expanse of open savanna in present-day Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Chokwe chiefs became increasingly involved in trade with Europeans who sought rubber, wax, and ivory as well as African slaves for their colonies in the New World. Slaves were often exchanged for firearms, and these were employed in raids on neighboring peoples that produced more captives to sell to European traders. Local leaders who prospered from this exchange frequently commissioned prestige items from local artisans to indicate their wealth and power. This tobacco pipe is one such item that demonstrates the degree to which warfare, the slave trade, and elite arts were intertwined at this time. The pipe itself was the prerogative of individuals who could afford expensive imported tobacco, generally by trading slaves, while the rifle refers to the means by which such slaves were acquired.
 From the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.  Click to read full article.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The pretentious pipe


Many years ago I mentioned to someone that I preferred bent pipes to straight, and was told that bents are too pretentious for a young man.  "Well, I guess I'm pretentious, then" was my answer.  Now I guess I'm too old for that to be an issue, anyway.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lost Sherlock Holmes film found

Readers of this blog know that I have previously written about both William Gillette and Sherlock Holmes on more than one occasion, so I think this news is worthy of reporting although it has nothing to do with pipes.

Long Lost William Gillette Sherlock Holmes Film Found

There is one Sherlock Holmes film that legendary in its heritage: the 1916 Sherlock Holmes starring none other than William Gillette (1853 - 1937). This film is significant because it has long been lost.

Gillette asked for and received permission from Arthur Conan Doyle to adapt material and use the character for a play in 1899. And from that time until the early 1930s, he played the role some 1,300 times. And yet the 1916 film is the only record that was made of Gillette's performance in the title role that dominated so much of his career.

Today the Cinémathèque Française announced that the original negative of the film has been located!
Click the link to read the whole story.