This is a particularly fine example of a Mongolian (and possibly Tibetan) man’s tobacco pipe. It comprises a central section of hollow, dark yak horn, with silver mounts at either end. The silver is engraved with scrolling cloud motifs and is further decorated with applied pearled or ribbed silver bands, granulation work, and two large natural red coral cabochons in silver box settings.
Tobacco primarily was imported to Tibet from India, and Mongolia from China.
Hoek (2004, p. 199) illustrates a similar example and attributes it to 19th century Mongolia.
The pipe here is in excellent condition with no losses or repairs. It has a good patina and obvious age.
Hoek, C., et al, Ethnic Jewellery: From Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands, Pepin Press, 2004.
Reynolds, V., Tibet: A Lost World: The Newark Museum Collection of Tibetan Art and Ethnology, The American Federation of Arts, 1978.