According to the seller, this pipe bowl was kept in the Monastère Bénedictin du Mont Fébé in Yaoundé, capital town of Cameroon and was preserved there until 1999. The most remarkable feature of this object is the stylized face with the inflated cheeks, referring to the trumpeters who accompany the king and who blow their cheeks with air. At the top, the face is closed with two eyebrows that extend into each other, forming a flowing line above the circular eyes. Those eyes account for an attribution to the Bamileke, a tribe living in the Grassland area of Cameroon. Another unexpected feature is the flat base on which the pipe bowl can stand stably. Although technically suitable for smoking, such pipes were mainly made as collectors' items. The design of this pipe bowl is strong in itself and cannot be compared with many other figurative pipe bowls. However, this pipe must have been produced in series, as determined by the pottery tradition on the Grasslands, although a second one is not yet known. Another typical characteristic is the black colour of the braised ceramics in which most pipe bowls from the region are made.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 16.421Permalink