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S/4600 Antique 19th Century Boxwood Momento Mori Pipe Tamper

A rare momento mori boxwood pipe tamper or stopper, which were used by pipe smokers to derive the maximum amount of enjoyment from smoking, making sure that the tobacco is packed correctly so as to obtain a satisfactory draw. This intricately carved example has a wigged skull above a pierced hour glass, with four turned pillars, all seated on a circular ring carved base with the owners initials I.P. and dated (18)76. The whole has a pale colour and pleasing patinated finish.

Sold 2 in. (7 cm.) High
1 in. (2.5 cm.) Diameter English Circa 1876