Pipe Head (Ethnology)


This intricately decorated cast brass pipe head may have been made for ceremonial use or as a commemorative piece for a palace altar. It has a figure of a leopard, the royal animal, on the connecting handle. The pipe head was purchased from the well-known dealer William Downing Webster. Many of the works from Benin that Webster sold to museums from 1897 to 1901 were purchased either from auctions or directly from British soldiers who took part in the British military assault against Benin in February 1897.