This delightful miniature has ‘classical’ (in the pure sense) features, making an attribution on the criterion of cultural style difficult. A Yombe or Kongo origin seems most probable. The small size and short stem have more in common with European pipes than the African model, whether for smoking tobacco, as here, or hemp. The pipe has been well used; the bowl is charred, especially on the right-hand side, indicating that the owner lit it with his right hand. The stem may be a replacement.
Margaret Carey, 1997
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Vol. 2: Pacific, African and Native North American Art, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997) p. 184.
Purchased by the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia from Merton Simpson Gallery, New York on the advice of Robert Sainsbury in 1986 out of funds provided by the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Art Trust.
Not on display
Object Type: Pipe
Measurements: l. 152 x h. 38 x d. 28 mm
Accession Number: 929
Historic Period: Late 19th/early 20th century
Cultural Group: Kongo, Yombe
Credit Line: Purchased with support from the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Art Trust, 1986