Haida Ship Panel Pipe, ca. 1850

Value (2005) | $8,000 Auction$10,000 Auction

GUEST:
I'm a Native American from the Tlingit tribe in Wrangell, Alaska, and I think it has something to do with being Native American, but I'm not positive. This was actually given to me. I used to own a beauty salon in Carmel, and I took care of a client, and her husband gave it to me. He knew that I was Tlingit, and he knew about Tlingit-Haida, and he thought that I should have it because I had been kind to his wife.

APPRAISER:
Do you know what it's made out of?

GUEST:
I want to say it's argillite. That's what I was told, but I don't know.

APPRAISER:
This is called a ship panel pipe. And it's made out of argillite. It's a sort of a coal. It's a very hard slate, but it does have a content of carbon in it. It's Haida, from the Haida tribe, next to the Tlingit.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
And it probably dates to the mid-1800s, 1850s. And these men are probably sailors. They all have frock coats on. This is not a woman; it's a man in a long coat. What they're on is a ship. If you look at this area right here, it's the center of a ship. And if you look at these bars, they're completely carved out in relief. There's two separate bars on each side. The carving work is incredible. These were carved to sell to sailors and to people up at that fort. They were trade goods made in the village. What this is about is tobacco.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
It's a pipe. And these early pieces are more of a flat panel. They don't have any depth to them.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
But if we turn it over, this little hole, this is the pipe bowl. There's another hole on this end, where there would have been a little wooden stem or tube, but they weren't really for smoking. They were more to show what was going on in the life of this culture in the interaction of non-Indians and Indians. They're pretty rare. Some sold back in the '80s... 2,000 bucks. This one is broken.

GUEST:
Oh, it is?

APPRAISER:
Right here, it's been broken in half. It's been repaired. It could be repaired better but it's such a clean break, it really doesn't matter. $8,000 to $10,000 is probably a pretty good figure for it, and that's at an auction sale.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Thanks for coming, Maval.

GUEST:
Thank you. I appreciate your wisdom and knowledge.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
San Antonio, Texas
Appraised value (2005)
$8,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
Event
Los Angeles, CA (August 13, 2005)
Period
19th Century
Form
Pipe

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