Royal Pipe Furnace
Bamum people, Cameroon Grasslands
First half of the 20th Century
This wonderful ceramic glaze Royal pipe furnace represents a figure with swollen cheeks and bulging eyes sitting on a throne.
Large pipes are very important symbols of authority in Bamum chiefdoms and those particular big pipes where usually not smoked but instead symbolically carried to the mouth. This explains why most of them don't have residue in the furnace.
It is extremely difficult to date these pipe furnaces. Many entered German museum as early as 1890 and one could think they were made yesterday. However, I have noticed that older examples carry more details and have a better ceramic quality and a "softer" surface. I thus date this one (as well as the other ones presented in that special collection) to the first half of the 20th Century. But it could be much older as I found all of them in the same old french colonial collection where I found the two 19th century containers.
H: 16 cm (6 1/3 inches)
Price : 1600 Euros enquiry