open-work carving with depictions of a dragonfly, raven, human, and frog, overall length 14.25 in. x height 3 in.
early 19th century
During the 1830s, the second decade of the argillite carving tradition, pipes began to be carved that were longer and flatter than those of the early years. This pipe probably represents an early departure from that compact style. The bowl, which is nearly in the center of the pipe, is still large enough to be functional, and the figures are fully carved on the bottom of the pipe, a characteristic of the early period.
The largest figure represented is one found more often on argillite pipes than on any other object of Northwest Coast art. It is the dragonfly, and can be recognized by its large, round eyes, paired cross-hatched wings, and segmented body. Often the dragonfly has a small human face between his large eyes; here the face has become a complete figure seated on the insect's nose, with his feet in the creature's mouth. A frog crouches under the dragonfly's tail and extends its tongue, which is bitten by the humanoid raven occupying the stem end of the pipe. A small figure sits between the raven's ears, grasping them with his hands. Under the pipe, at the center, the joint of the raven's tail has the form of a human face with arms and hands stretched forward toward the wings of the dragonfly (Holm 1983: 150).
1983 Holm, Bill. The Box of Daylight: Northwest Coast Indian Art (105: fig. 177)
Provenance:Ex Donn Charnley Collection
Has been broken and repaired. Has small loss to underside.
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