There once was a time, when after dinner, men and women retired to separate rooms. They would talk over things pertaining to their gender, or in the case of men, perhaps some billiards and a smoke. This was time when men broke out pipes of cheroot holders and probably tried to one-up each other. Well, this pipe would have won every time. It certainly never saw the light of day, and would have only been smoked in the dusky, smoky, anteroom of an estate. It was certainly smoked often. The color is rich and deep.
If I had to date it…I would estimate it as Edwardian. 1900-1910. The Victorian moral structure had disintegrated, and the manor party was at its height. It would have also taken a different morality for the carver to embrace such a subject. The cultures of Paris and Vienna were growing more decadent. If I had to guess this is a French pipe. The stamping on the inside of the case is conspicuously missing. It could possibly have been a private contract. The young woman’s hair style and pose suggest French art of the time. I must say I have never seen the like. As vulgar as it is, the detail and pose are quite remarkable.