Mi'kmaq Anthropomorphic Stone Pipe, Collected by Peter Neff (1828-1903), Ohio

bowl carved in the form of a human head; incised plaited hair; inked with three sets of collection numbers and with applied paper label noting the collection of Peter Neff, length 2.5 in. x diameter 1.25 in.
first half 19th century

PETER NEFF (1828-1903) was a native of Coshocton County, Ohio, and attended both Yale and Woodward College before graduating from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1849. Between 1853 and 1854 Neff closely collaborated with Hamilton Neff, a Professor of Chemistry at Kenyon to develop what is generally acknowledged to be the first successful tintype photographs in America. In 1856, Neff acquired the patent for making "ferrotype" or "melainotype" plates, and shortly thereafter moved to Cincinnati where he opened a factory for their manufacture. The plant was destroyed by fire in 1857, and Neff moved his business to Middletown, Connecticut. As the tintype process became widely accepted by American photographers, Neff found his patent largely unenforceable. He returned to Gambier in 1860, eventually becoming involved in the oil and gas business in eastern Ohio.

Provenance:Collected by Peter Neff (1828-1903), Ohio; Deaccessioned from the Western Reserve Historical Society, Ohio


According to the consignor, this pipe is published in a 1901 pamphlet - the article written by J.C. McClain.  In the (unknown) publication, it was stated that the pipe was purchased from a Chippewa Chief in Sault Ste Marie on May 8, 1858. 

Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

Internet Bidding

Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

PLEASE NOTE: Condition questions submitted after 12:00 pm ET on Thursday, April 9 may not be answered prior to the auction.

Let Cowan's Handle Your Shipping!

Cowan's Auctions is one of the only houses to offer full service, in-house shipping.  

Our experts pack and ship over 5,000 purchases each year.  
Shipping costs are included on every invoice to make getting your items as fast and easy as possible. 

For more information, click HERE or contact shipping@cowans.com.