Tobacco pipes from Cameroun
Cameroon has by far the most elaborate smoking culture in Africa. On the flat highlands of Cameroon, the Grasslands, the tobacco pipes is a highly respected item, both as a daily commodity and as an object with solemn ceremonial function.
There is a choice in materials used: bronze cast in the lost-wax method and ceramic, carved from a solid block of clay rather than sculpted. The common bronze tobacco pipe has a oval shaped bowl and up-going stem. The pipes were sold for the weight of the bronze.
The Cameroon bronze casters have developed a high standard of technical skills and artistic creativity. Soldiers, sometimes in full length, depicting the uniformed German colonizers from the 1900’s are very popular. Apart from that type impressing bronze pipes with masks are typical Cameroon. The features of the masks, with emphasis on blown cheeks or almond-shaped eyes as the examples shown, refer to the various tribes.
The ceramic pipes are either decorated with a geometrical (running) pattern, or figural. The figural bowls display the highly developed culture of masks in all their variety: sometimes portraits, sometimes complete humans or animals, all in the specific tribal style. The over-all shape, high rising bowl with nearly parallel shaft for a separate wooden stem, they all have in common.
Some pipes are made in wood and are related to the European briar. A rare example in ivory is more or less a copy of a ceramic pipe.
Amsterdam Pipe Shop is specialized in collectors items on pipes