Inlaid Pipe Bowl with Two Faces
Arts of the Americas
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Visions and Myths of a Nation, 1800–1890
The Jarvis Collection of Native American Plains Art
The articles in this case and the adjacent clothing case are some of the earliest and finest Eastern Plains pieces in existence. They were collected by Dr. Nathan Sturges Jarvis, a military surgeon stationed at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, between 1833 and 1836. He purchased some of the objects, while some may have been given in exchange for his medical services. These works display indigenous people’s ingenuity in combining trade materials such as cloth, metal, and glass beads with traditional hides, red pipestone, and porcupine and bird quills.
Catlinite (pipestone), lead
early 19th century
"Ornamented War Chief's Pipe (Sisseton Sioux)"
Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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Sisseton, Sioux (Native American). Inlaid Pipe Bowl with Two Faces, early 19th century. Catlinite (pipestone), lead, 3 x 5 x 3 in. (7.6 x 12.7 x 7.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.104. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 50.67.104_profile_PS9.jpg)
profile, 50.67.104_profile_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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This thick set, red catlinite pipe is carved so that the actual bowl section, where tobacco would be inserted, is carved with two human faces, one placed facing the smoker and the other at the back of the bowl. Bands of lead are inlaid around the bowl and the short section meant to connect to the stem. There are remnants of where another figure was attached to the topside of the short stem.
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