Ivory ceramic Hookah pipe with painted flowers, scallops and zigzags in the colors of red, blue, yellow, aqua, and green. Decorative detail is outlined in black. The bottom of the vessel is round, narrowing at the top to form a long neck of the same design. Attached to the top of the neck is what appears to be a hollow decorative stem which is red. An orange 'dish' sits near the top of the stem. The corresponding cord/tube is made out of red paper covered in wire with an orange mouthpiece on one end and an attachment for the vessel on the other end. The pipe also has velvet and yarn elements near the mouthpiece.
This contraption could be considered a clay pipe, which is almost always a very fine white clay. Low-quality "clay" pipes are actually made from porcelain slip poured into a mold. These are porous, of very low quality, and impart unwanted flavors to a smoke. Top-notch clays, on the other hand, are made in a labor-intensive process that requires beating all air out of the clay, hand-rolling each pipe before molding it, piercing with a fine wire, and careful firing. Traditionally, clay pipes are un-glazed.
Clays burn "hot" in comparison to other types of pipes, so they are often difficult for most pipe-smokers to use. Their proponents claim that, unlike other materials, a well-made clay pipe gives a "pure" smoke, with no flavor addition from the pipe bowl.
The ceramic water vessel and its pipe also greatly resembles the construction of a hookah pipe, a single or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporizing and smoking flavored tobacco called shisha in which the vapor or smoke is passed through a water basin (often glass-based) before inhalation.
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Pipe, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/6665. Accessed 07/03/22.