Object photography

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Object description

  • Haida artist
  • Pipe, 1820s
  • Argillite
  • Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), British Columbia, Canada
  • L: 4 7/8 in, W: 1 1/8 in, D: 2 1/2 in (L: 12.4 cm, W: 2.9 cm, D: 6.3 cm)
  • Gift of John Coffin Jones, 1830
  • E3498
  • Made at height of fur trade, as very early souvenir art
  • Shows Haida communities' familiarity with trading ships

In the 1820s, American ships would spend up to a year in a Northwest Coast harbor assembling a full cargo of sea otter furs. This Haida artist reduced the ship's form into a pipe, carved in argillite stone. He then sold the souvenir to a mariner involved in the fur, porcelain, tea and spice trades.


East India Marine Society Collection


This is an argillite pipe in the form of a stylized Western ship. The billet head extends into a crosshatched and dot-motif trail board that can also be read as the ship's keel. The deck-level crosshatched element may represent a repelling net, historically used by sea-otter traders onboard as a defense against attack by Natives. Between the deck and trail board/keel are the planks of the hull. A cabin is perched on the aft deck. The cylindrical pipe bowl, unrelated to the ship's structure, is placed forward.

Exhibition History

  • Uncommon Legacies: Native American Art from the Peabody Essex Museum, Washington State Historical Society; October 11, 2005 through February 09, 2006
  • This Noble River: Captain Gray and the Columbia, Columbia River Maritime Museum; May 11, 1992 through November 29, 1992