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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
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Terracotta Pipe Bowl

Grasslands, Cameroon,
Early 20th c.

Provenance: Unter Family Collection NYC, acquired in the 1970’s 

Pipes used for smoking tobacco are found throughout the Cameroon Grasslands region. Decoration varied depending on the owner; however, most of these pipes served a prestige purpose and were only smoked by kings, chiefs, and court officials. This example features a compact seated anthropomorphic figure, likely portraying a dignitary due to the addition of a decorated hat. The facial features are impressive, creating a powerful expression with arched brows over large almond-shaped eyes, a wide nose, and a large mouth that is very worn from extensive handling. The entire surface is heavily encrusted and worn, giving the figure an ancient texture.

Terracotta Pipe Bowl

Grasslands, Cameroon,
Early 20th c.

Provenance: Unter Family Collection NYC, acquired in the 1970’s 

Pipes used for smoking tobacco are found throughout the Cameroon Grasslands region. Decoration varied depending on the owner; however, most of these pipes served a prestige purpose and were only smoked by kings, chiefs, and court officials. This example features a compact seated anthropomorphic figure, likely portraying a dignitary due to the addition of a decorated hat. The facial features are impressive, creating a powerful expression with arched brows over large almond-shaped eyes, a wide nose, and a large mouth that is very worn from extensive handling. The entire surface is heavily encrusted and worn, giving the figure an ancient texture.

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