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Mace and Helen Katz Neufeld Collection

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unknown Bamessing

Ki (Smoking Pipe) Bowl

Early 20th century
Sculpted and incised terracotta with fabric remains

3.346 x 2.165 x 2 1/16 in. (8.5 x 5.5 x 5.2 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.6
Other Number(s): 151 (Neufeld Collection Number)
Geography: Africa, Cameroon, West Region Cameroon
Classification: Clothing and Adornments; Personal Gear; Smoking & Recreational Drug Equipment
Culture/Nationality: Nsei, Bamessing, Cameroonian, Central African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • anthropomorphic - Resembling a human form.
  • Cameroonian - Style and culture of the nation of Cameroon, lying at the junction of western and central Africa.
  • Central African - Styles and cultures from a wide region of Africa that straddles the Equator and is drained largely by the Congo River system.
  • clay - Naturally occurring sediments that are produced by chemical actions resulting during the weathering of rocks. Clays are composed of hydrated aluminum silicates, such as Kaolinite, Illite, Palygorskite, Attapulgite, Bentonite, and Montmorillonite. Small amounts of other minerals can change the color (white, yellow, brown or red) and texture of the clays. Clays may include all earths that form a paste with water and harden when heated.
  • Nsei - Describes works created by the African people of the same name living in the Ndop Plain, Bamenda region of the western Cameroon Grassfields.
  • pipe bowls - The rounded ends of tobacco smoking pipes. These are often found as separate components during archeological excavations.
  • pipes - Devices consisting of a tube with a bowl at one end and a mouthpiece at the other; used for smoking tobacco, opium, and other substances.
  • terracotta - A baked or semi-fired material that is usually a mixture of clay, grog, and water; it has been used for pottery, statuettes, lamps, roof tiles, and cornices since ancient times. It may be glazed prior to firing. To produce an item, terracotta is molded or shaped, dried for several days then fired to at least 600 C. It is fireproof, lighter in weight than stone, and usually brownish red in color.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 12/20/1996

  • Owner Name: Sotheby's Parke-Bernet Auction House (Seller for Cranbrook Art Museum)
    Role: Seller
    Place: New York, New York, USA
    Disposal Method: Auction
    Ownership End Date: May 4, 1972

  • Owner Name: Museum of the Cranbrook Academy of Art
    Role: Museum
    Place: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA
    Acquisition Method: Donation from George and Ellen Booth
    Disposal Method: Sold at Auction in 1972
    Ownership Start Date: 1940
    Ownership End Date: May 4, 1972

  • Owner Name: George Gough (1864 – 1949) and Ellen Scripps (1863–1948) Booth
    Place: Purchased at Weyhe Gallery and Donated to the Cranbrook Art Museum
    Acquisition Method: Purchase
    Disposal Method: Donation
    Ownership Start Date: 1940
    Ownership End Date: 1940

  • Owner Name: Weyhe Gallery (1919-2003), New York/Erhard Weyhe (1882-1972)
    Role: Seller
    Place: New York, New York, USA
    Ownership End Date: 1940

  • Owner Name: Dr. Hans Himmelheber (1908-2003), Heidelberg, Germany
    Role: Anthropologist/Collector
    Place: New York, New York, USA
    Acquisition Method: Likely Field Collected in 1938
    Ownership Start Date: Likely 1938
    Ownership End Date: 1940 or Earlier
    Remarks: Himmelheber was in Cameroon in 1938, but according to the Himmelheber archives in Zurich most of the material from the time before the Second World War was destroyed during the war.

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Ladislas Segy, African Sculpture Speaks Hill and Wang. New York, New York, 1969
    Page Number: 205, Figure Number: 257
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0181769.
  • Catalogue of Cranbrook Collections: Egyptian, Western Asiatic & Classical Antiquities, Indian & Islamic Art, Precolumbian & African Art Sotheby's Parke-Bernet. New York, New York, May 4, 1972
    Page Number: 92, Figure Number: Lot #246
  • Weyhe Gallery, African Negro Art Weyhe Gallery. New York, New York, 1940
    Figure Number: 33

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • Paul Gebauer, "Cameroon Tobacco Pipes." African Arts 5, no. 2 (Winter 1972): 29.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Paul Gebauer, "Cameroon Tobacco Pipes." African Arts 5, no. 2 (Winter 1972): 28-35.
  • Paul Gebauer, Art of Cameroon (Portland, Oregon and New York, New York: Portland Art Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979), 249-253, 343-353.
  • Tamara Northern, The Sign of the Leopard : Beaded Art of Cameroon : a Loan Exhibition from the Cameroon Collections of the Linden-Museum Stuttgard (Connecticut: Storrs : William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, 1975), 102-114, 124-125.
  • "ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA." (Accessed May 10, 2020):

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Ki (Smoking Pipe) Bowl |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=12/5/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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