Saturday, June 1, 2019

Porsche Design Pipe

Porsche Design Nature P'3614 (2009)

Porsche Design Nature P'3614 (2009)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Haida Panel Pipes

Upcoming at First Arts Auction on may 28th, two Haida panel pipes of exception:

HAIDA,Whistle Pipe, c. 1835-1850, argillite, bone and abalone, 4.5 x 10.75 x 1 in, 11.4 x 27.3 x 2.5 cm

The pipe stem is surmounted by two men in European clothing; one man is depicted riding a dog, whose front paw is charmingly raised in greeting to the other. The pipe bowl depicts the head of a man in a European-style top hat. Quite amusingly he is forced to hold the whistle in his mouth, and the abalone inlay in his eyes makes it look like they are watering with the strain of the effort. The men’s men’s heads, carved from bone, are a further elaboration and source of rarity for this remarkable work

HAIDA, Ship Panel Pipe, c. 1840-1860, argillite, 4.25 x 14 x .5 in, 10.8 x 35.6 x 1.3 cm

A few of the earliest Haida ship panel pipes may have been created in the 1820s. By the 1840s Euro-American ships and their crews had become popular subjects for Haida argillite carvers, supplanting panel pipes with traditional Haida motifs. The artists found the exotic look of the ships themselves, their captains and sailors, and their cargoes fascinating. Ship panel pipes became highly prized trade goods, the subjects themselves providing a ready market for these fascinating creations.

The bow of the ship is adorned with a scrolled billet head, a common feature of sailing vessels from the period, and cluster of berries. Tobacco leaves decorate the keel halfway to the stern (tobacco was of course the very raison d’être for pipes and was thus an important motif, even though these elaborate works of art had become pipes in name only!). The woman at the bow and the man at the stern lean against the jumping legs of insects, probably grasshoppers. The woman at the center sits leaning against the ship’s deckhouse. Unlike the various animals that typically adorn ship panel pipes – mostly dogs and birds - the two insects are carved fully in the traditional Haida style.


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Ojibwe Catlinite Effigy Pipe Bowl

As described by Sotheby's

 "Much has been learned about the origin of this extraordinary pipe since it was first offered at Sotheby's in 1993. One of six known pipes with the distinctive curved-neck horse created by the master carver Pabahmesad or Awbonwaishkum (aka One Who Uplifts By His Company),

Portrait of Awbonwaishkum by Paul Kane, 1845   
"This Chief is a man of great ingenuity and judgment" Paul Kane

on Manitoulin Island prior to 1845, 

Lake Michigan and Manitoulin Island, 1718

"it is the only known example in private hands and one of three thought to be complete; the other two complete examples are in the Karl May Museum in Radebeul Germany and in the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. (cat. no. 12/105).

Pipe bowl probably carved by Pabahmesad, Ojibway, Manitoulin Island, c.1845. 61⁄2" long (16.5 cm).
National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Cat No. 12/105

It is also the only known example in catlinite."

"The basis for much of what is known about these pipes is the documentation that was made by the Canadian artist Paul Kane.

Self Portrait, Paul Kane, 1845.
“On my return to Canada from the continent of Europe, where I had passed nearly four years in studying my profession as a painter, I determined to devote whatever talents and proficiency I possessed to the painting of a series of pictures illustrative of the North American Indians and scenery.”
- Paul Kane, preface to Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of North America (1859).

"While traveling through Europe, Kane met the American artist George Catlin. Catlin was then exhibiting and also lecturing in northern England and at Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London, on his paintings of Indians from the American prairies and the foothills of the Rockies.  

                             The routes of Indian painter George Catlin during the years 1830-1855                               Smithsonian Institution. 
The George Catlin Indian Gallery in the U. S. National Museum. Washington 1885

"In his book, Letters and notes on the manners, customs and conditions of the North American Indians (London and New York, 1841), published just before Kane’s arrival in London, Catlin predicts the early disappearance of the North American Indian because of his contacts with Europeans. 

Thus, he argues, it is the artist’s duty to record his features and customs for posterity, while this is still possible. 

Kane, obviously inspired by this argument, decided to do in Canada what Catlin had done in the United States." (Canadian Museum of History)

Kane visited the Manitoulin Island in 1845, sketching images of campsites,

wild life,

ceremonial dress, including elaborately decorated pipe stems,

Paul Kane,
Kee-akee-ka-saa-ka-wow, Plains Cree,
c. 1849–56, oil on canvas, 75.9 x 63.4 cm, Royal
Ontario Museum, Toronto
and pipe bowls 

"Stone Pipe Carved by Awbonwaishkum" by Paul Kane, 1845. Oil on paper. 71⁄2" x 121⁄4" (19.1 cm x 31.1 cm). 
 Courtesy of the Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas. Cat. No. 31.78.184

made by these talented carvers" for respected elders.

"Among the numerous Indians assembled here, was one that particularly attracted my attention from his venerable and dignified appearance. In reply to my inquiry, as to who he was, I learned that he was called Shawwanossoway, or 'One with his Face towards the West,' and that he was a great medicine-man, skilled in the past, present and future."

"A compelling essay by Arni Brownstone on these pipe makers appeared in American Indian Art Magazine, Summer 2011. The pipes, Brownstone tells us, were carved from a volcanic, Precambrian rock identified as chloritic schist and most likely obtained from exposures above Lake Huron.

Pipe bowl probably carved by Awbonwaishkum,
Ojibway or Ottawa, c.1845. Carved chloritic schist, glass beads.
" long (18.4 cm). © Royal Ontario Museum. Courtesy of Victoria University, Toronto, Ontario. Cat. No. HK924. 
Photograph by Brian Boyle.

"In his essay he writes: "We now appreciate that the narratives carved on these pipes from Manitoulin Island have complex religious, commercial, humorous, political, mythological and social overtones (2011:63)...Since it is rare to have documentation providing the names of nineteenth-century First Nations artists, we are fortunate to know the identities of the Manitoulin pipe makers Pabahmesad and Awbonwaishkum (ibid)."

Pipe Bowl, Ottawa, c. 1845. Carved chloritic schist, glass beads, 6.5" long

"Pipes are an integral part of Native American ceremonial life, the smoke from which is thought to carry prayers from the user to a supernatural or spiritual realm. The meaning of the narrative depicted on this pipe is known only to its maker leaving the outside viewer to ponder its significance."

"The quality and sensitivity of the carving on this pipe is exceptional and undeniable. The two standing figures, each with their hands pressed to their chest, appear to be bowing to each other in a sign of mutual respect. Or perhaps it is a sign of respect for the function of the pipe itself."

"The horse, with its gracefully curving neck, stylized mane of finely executed saw-tooth notches, resting its nose on the tulip-shaped bowl, adds complexity and visual appeal to the overall sculpture of the pipe."

But, the presence of the horse speaks to the mystery of the natural world, and the emotions that it can conjure."

For additional references: Harper, 1971, pp. 174-175; National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Cat. No. 12/105; Royal Ontario Museum Toronto, Cat. No.HD15A.

 Courtesy Sotheby's New York

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Haida Reindeer Antler Pipe

Seated Haida Ancestral Figure, 

Pacific Northwest Coast, 3 7/8", 19th century

carved out of a reindeer antler

with iridescent haliotis abalone inlaid collar and headband,

deep bowl with stem hole drilled at back.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

1970 Pierre Cardin Pipes

In 1970, French Avant-Garde fashion designer Pierre Cardin,

Creator, Model and" Bubble Dress", Paris, 1954

who would soon after don the spacesuit worn by Buzz Adrin,

Pierre Cardin at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 1971

designed a collection of pipes,

manufactured in Saint-Claude

by Jean Lacroix

some in lacquered briar wood,


others chiseled and stained

with a clear focus

on the brand.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Forepaugh’s Circus & Wild West Show

In his research on the Bremen Historic Train Depot, Indiana, Derek Jensen points out
the critical role railroads played in the success of circuses in the Unites States during the second half of the nineteenth century: 

"From 1865 onward circuses criss-crossed America to great fanfare, 

Forepaugh Circus Train 1890

few more impressive than that of Adam Forepaugh 

and his elephant-trainer son, Addie, Jr,

"Addie" Forepaugh Jr. in 1870

 the Forepaugh’s Circus & Wild West Show.
Adam Forepaugh's Great Show. Military Drill by Forepaugh's 25 Elephants. Cincinnati: Strobridge, (1883). Color lithograph poster depicting the ringleader of the circus commanding a herd of elephants. 30 x 40”.

Forepaugh was second only to PT Barnum’s, and a great rivalry arose between them. Barnum’s famous Jumbo was taller, 

but Forepaugh’s Bolivar was heavier, prompting both to claim they had the largest elephant in the world. 

They eventually split the country into exclusive territories, although they managed to resolve their differences and play combined shows in Philadelphia and New York.

When Forepaugh sold his train and equipment to Ringling Brothers in 1889, that circus became the biggest in the country, eventually buying up Barnum’s."

A meerschaum cheroot holder captures this part of Americana,

Courtesy Sarunas Peckus Collection
in fine

Courtesy Sarunas Peckus Collection
and accurate detail

 with Adam Forepaugh Jr.'s portrait in full view

leaving one wondering if he was its privileged owner...

Detail from Adam Forepaugh's Great Show. Military Drill by Forepaugh's 25 Elephants.                     Cincinnati: Strobridge, (1883).