This isn't a pipe - it's a work of art!" a customer recently emailed us of his new Mya. We couldn't agree more. In this age of utilitarianism, form falls too often second to function, and the artistry of hookahs - decoration for the simple joy of adornment - shines forth. After all, decorating something beloved is a natural human activity; we painted our caves millennia ago, we put posters on our walls today, stickers on our cars, and colorful collars on our dogs. Small wonder that we spend so much time searching for a hookah that looks just right. History has provided us with attractive smoke-centric artifacts for our appreciation, such as this Indian pipe from the early 1800s. On this hookah, the base is quite small, but the extra-long hose connector would have given the filtered smoke more opportunity to cool. You thought the large Phunnel bowl holds lots of shisha - the bowl on this hookah would last hours.
Not all hookah art (or 'hookart'?) comes from the Middle East. This hookah base, make in the Kangxi region of China is made of delicate porcelain. This base dates to the 1700s, but in the century prior, Kerman (in what is today known as Iran), hookahs combined traditional Chinese and Persian motifs. Sadly, we were unable to find any pictures of this style for the blog.
This detail from a Persian rug in the 1800s shows a woman smoking a hookah. Rugs from this area and time often showed nomadic tribes setting up camp and smoking hookahs. Camping and hookahs? Count me in. I wonder if the weaver was puffing a hookah when making this rug...
Inspired by the hookah form (and probably fond of its function), artists frequently crafted other items, such as this decanter from the 1800s, in the manner of the cherished narghile.
And this? This is just silly.