Treenware Pipe Rack
24" x 8"
Pipe stands come in all shapes and forms – from the rudimentary to the highly elaborate. This particular example, though simple, is elegant. It is an 18th-century Dutch hand-turned pipe rack made of fruitwood. The stand consists of a bowl – resting on three ball feet – a sugar-barley twisted stem – which lends the piece its appealing quality – a circular disc with three holes to support pipes, and a finial at its upper extremity. Given its lengthy size, this pipe rack was likely made to hold Dutch clay pipes from Gouda. The Dutch city of Gouda was a major production centre for clay pipes in the 17th century. Gouda clay pipes – smoking devices marked by their thin and hollow white stems – can be found in numerous Dutch paintings depicting interior tavern scenes. Clay pipes were also popular in other European countries, and since pipes are hung by their bowl shaped feet, this treenware stand could be used to hold pipes of various sizes. This wood carved piece would be a unique addition to a smoker’s den or pipe aficionado's collection. Alternatively, this pipe rack could be displayed among other functional household objects.
At this time in Gouda, Sint-Janskerk (Saint John’s Church) became a popular tourist attraction in the 18th century. Built between 1530 and 1603, the church was dedicated to John the Baptist (1st Century BC–AD 30), the patron saint of the South Holland city. The building remains the longest church in the Netherlands, and is still famous for its impressive collection of stained glass windows, installed by artists Dirk (1501–1574) and Wouter (1510–1590) Crabeth I.