A Fine Portrait Pipe
South Africa or Mozambique
7.60 x 17 cms
This exquisitely carved portrait pipe with inset bead eyes is a supreme example of the sensitivity that specialist Tsonga carvers brought to their craft. The head ring suggests that it depicts a Zulu elder but in The Arts of Southern Africa (Pethica Collection) it is described thus,"The headring and expressive articulation of facial features suggests that this pipe may have been made by a Tsonga-speaking carver, possibly a migrant who produced pipes for patrons and other communities."
Published: The Art of Southern Africa, pp. 185, no.95
signs of use and age
ex Terence and Bernice Pethica, UK