Funnel shaped pipe bowl from Nigeria
This large, well-shaped pipe bowl is reminiscent of the ceramic funnel beakers from prehistoric cultures in the Netherlands. Of course, that cannot be correct because it is a pipe bowl excavated in Nigeria with coincidentally similar characteristics. Note the rather elegant funnel shape of the pipe bowl, placed on a conical foot with a short ascending stem with stub on the separation of the two parts. Features, incidentally, that we also encounter in tobacco pipes in neighboring countries in West Africa, although the effect here is more stereotyped and exceptionally skilled. Beautiful about this object are the delicate incisions of concentric lines on the upper half interrupted by a zigzag band.Being excavated without any contextual background these generous pipe bowls give the impression that we are dealing with prehistoric African smoking equipment which is in fact a sensational thought. However, if we consider that smoking in Nigeria was introduced by Europeans in the early 1800s, we would rather expect pipes with a small bowl, here we are talking about giant bowls sizes with a height of up to ten centimeters. Although the material examples will contribute to the insight into the smoking utensils in unknown areas, unfortunately, for the time being the story behind these objects will remain veiled. Future excavations in the area will hopefully bring background information.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 20.089Permalink