Native American tobacco pipe realises $23,500 at auction

A finely carved tobacco pipe has auctioned as top lot in a sale of American Indian art, which was held on October 5 in Ohio.

Native American tobacco pipe auction
The pipe's value was boosted by its historical and local significance

The pipe originates from the collection of Dr Perry Moore, who administered to a number of Miami Indians during the last half of the 19th century. It was through his contact with the people - the majority of whom had already been removed from their lands - that he first acquired the pipe.

At the same time as acquiring the pipe, Moore was also gifted the flag that General Anthony Wayne awarded to the tribe at the signing of the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. The treaty saw a coalition of American Indian tribes exchange large areas of Ohio for the equivalent of $20,000 at the behest of George Washington.

The pipe has a delicately carved curly maple stem with engraved bands of German silver, as well as a German silver tip. Its flared bowl is decorated with bands of concentric circles and a pierced crest, with the interior blackened for heavy usage. It realised $23,500.

Also featuring was a Sioux beaded and quilled war jacket, which originated from the late 19th century. A spectacular piece from one of the largest and most famous of all the Native American groups, the shirt sold for $18,000.

Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering an authentic strand of hair from the head of the great Apache leader Geronimo.

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