Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Christie's Interior Sale features fine Nguni Pipes

Christie's London "Interior: Masters & Makers" sale concluded today, fetching nearly £300,000. The auction featured 132 lots from the pipe collection of British appliance magnate, Trevor Barton.

A circa 17th century Sinhalese Ivory Double-Pipe Case sold for £51,650 at the Unusual Smoking Pipe sale, far surpassing the £8,000 - £12,000 presale estimate. The work was the sale's top lot.

Ivory pipe cases, Austrian Meerschaum pipes, and 18th century tobacco figures were among the top lots. 

A large Austrian Meerschaum Pipe (circa 1875) sold for £7,500. The ivory pipe, carved as the head of a young lady carrying a porte-monnaie and wearing an elaborate wrist corsage, was projected to sell for £2,000 - £3,000. William Bragge's drawings of his rare pipe collection, expected to sell for £2,000 - £4,000 failed to find a buyer. 

The sale was from the collection of renowned "Pipe Man," Trevor Barton. Owning what was arguably the finest, most wide-ranging collection of pipes and smoking memorabilia in the world, Barton was a familiar figure in the stalls of the Portobello and Bermondsey markets of London. 

Barton's pipes come from all over the globe and reflect over fifty years of passionate pipe collecting and a lifetime of a travel. He was a leading member of the exclusive "Academie Internationale de la Pipe."

Several fine Nguni pipes from Southern Africa were included in the sale. Dating from 19th century, the works were finely inlaid with lead and depict objects such as clocks, cannons and trains. Others featured more traditional subjects, carved human figures. 

Results from the sale can be found at Christie's website,

Source: Christie's London
Photo courtesy of Christie's London

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