This beautiful and intricately carved Cheroot Pipe is made Circa 1900 - 1910 and is one of the finest carvings of a lion one will ever see. It is a miniature carving of the Lion of Lucerne. The lion appears to have been hunted and killed, as part of an axe or other weapon is protruding from his back. It seems he is laying on a shield and there is an axe head protruding from under the shield. The shield is adorned with a double Fleur-des-lys. Even the expression on the lion's face is one of sadness & torture. It is carved of beautiful Turkish boxwood and finished on the end with a turned and scalloped Meerschaum ornament. The pipe appears to be completely unused and is in like-new condition, though it is over 100 years old. The stanhope is under the lion's belly and shows a multi-view of four images of Rigi, Switzerland. The stanhope is very clear and easy to see. The main title is Souvenir du Rigi and is numbered "78". The individual views are Rigi Kulm, Rigi Kulm, Rigi Bahn, and Rigi Bahn. Though each of the titles is doubled, the images are different. It is finely threaded where the stem or mouthpiece would attach. This Swiss stanhope souvenir probably never had a stem when it was originally purchased. All-in-all it is one of the finest stanhope pipes we have ever seen. The pipe is 4" long x 1 1/4" high x 7/8" wide.
There were other Swiss Rigi souvenirs that featured carved copies of the famous Lion Monument but I have never seen any that capture the tormented and sad look obtained in this carved cheroot holder. You really have a feeling of sadness and loss when you look at it, perhaps that's why this pipe was never was used.
About the Lion of Lucerne: Also known as "The Lion Monument" or "Löwendenkmal", it is a stone sculpture in Lucerne, Switzerland. It was carved by Bertel Thorvaldsen in honor of the Swiss Guards who were massacred during the French Revolution in 1792, when revolutionaries attacked the Tuileries Palace in Paris. Mark Twain once wrote that the lion sculpture is "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
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