• Old Ceramic Bowl/Rawhide Shank Pipe – Mali

    This pipe measures 5 3/4″ (14.6 cm) overall, front to back. This is a very common pipe design in Africa, much more common than the more artistic, carved versions. The stummel, its bowl and shank, is composed of two parts: a spherical black ceramic bowl and a dark brown rawhide shank. The rawhide fits tightly around the bottom half of the bowl. There is a lighter color brown leather thong around the top of the rawhide to secure the hide to the ceramic. There is leather stitching to tighten the shank around the stem. The stem (mouthpiece) is also made up of two pieces: a short light brown wood cylinder and long silver-color metal tube. The metal tube fits into the wood cylinder which, in turn, fits into the rawhide shank. This pipe was used for a long time, many years, before being sold by whomever owned it. The top 1/4″ of the bowl is smooth but the rest of it is etched in a crosshatch pattern. The wooden cylinder part of the stem has a crack running the length of it outside of the rawhide. This does not appear to compromise its function. The metal tube was fashioned by rolling a flat piece of metal into this shape; the seam of the two sides of that flat metal is visible along most of the length of the tube. The end of the tube bends slightly upward at the end of the stem where it has been flattened to form the bit. The rim of the black ceramic bowl as well as the rawhide and wooden parts of this pipe have a very good patina resulting from its having been well used. There is black residue on the inside of the chamber and it smells of tobacco. All of these characteristics are the proof of this pipe’s age and authenticity; the entire pipe is in excellent condition. Not being a pipe smoker myself I cannot guarantee that this pipe could be smoked as it is but I believe it could be.

    Weight 2.0 lbs


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