Lot: 235

98th Auction

Two figural pipe bowls

Cameroon Grassfields, Bamum

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
American Private Collection 600 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

terracotta, painted black,

a) in shape of a seated male figure with prestige cap, h: 18 cm; b) in shape of a seated male with buffalo head and prestige cap, h: 17 cm; both with label "H 437 & H 438 Cloypik", both mounted on base

As regalia of Fons and title-holders, terracotta pipes were indispensable personal prestige items, cared for and carried after their owners by retainers, and displayed as status indicators on ceremonial occasions.

Terrakotta pipes were made by specialist artisans in several well-known centers. Most of these - Bamessing, Bamale, Babungo, Babessi- were located in the Ndop Plain, an area rich in clay deposits, but Bamum was equally renowned for spectacular pipe creations.

Northern, Tamara, The Art of Cameroon, Washington D.C. 1984, p. 120