Sioux Pipe Bowl and Effigy Carved Stem
    Circa 1885
    Length 30 in.

    This ash wood stem is finely carved in high relief along its length with a big horn ram head, an elk head, a turtle, and a buffalo head. The stem is pierced with six narrow, rectangular cutouts. A plain catlinite "T" shaped bowl accompanies the stem.
    This distinctive type of pipestem is frequently associated with the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. John Ewers comments upon them in Plains Indian Sculpture. In reference to a similar example he writes, "After viewing a photograph of this pipestem, Beatrice Medicine, the Hunkpapa Sioux ethnologist, told me that this was the kind of work done by Crazy Bear, a Sioux on Standing Rock Reservation." Numerous stems exist in public and private collections with slight variations on the basic design concept exemplified here. Some examples have partially quill wrapped stems and fewer figures. Examination indicates that several carvers were at work and their manufacture probably extended to other reservations in the Dakotas. These pipestems enjoyed widespread popularity among Indian people and were eagerly sought by early collectors. This stem can be compared with one held by the Sioux Chief No Neck in two George Spencer cabinet card photos in this sale (Lot 48214 and Lot 48215).

    Gallery West, Tucson, Arizona.

    Ewers, John C., Plains Indian Sculpture, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1986, pp. 112 and 113.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2006
    29th Friday
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