Offering an antique, chalkware – chalk ware, tobacco pipe and match holder.
My grandfather collected vintage and antique pipe and match holders and I am beginning to list some of them.
This particular piece features three sculptured heads in a row. These are wonderfully expressive faces. One appears to be a monk, the other a businessman and the other a fool. The pipes were meant to be hung between them, and the matches went in the hole at the top of each head.
This piece dates from the late 1800's.
The entire sculpture measures about 13" across and 5" in height. There are many small nick and chips in the plaster and coloring, damage to be expected in an antique item made only from chalk - plaster.
Inexpensive match holder heads like these were sculpted by unknown artisans, and sold in the streets by itinerant vendors. They lined them up on trays carried on their heads and roamed the city selling them to housewives and servants.