Here is a really early Catlinite pipe and stem with lead inlay on the stem. The stem appears to be ash, and the inlay is probably melted bullets set into carved designs. The stem appears to have been burned into the pith with a hot wire. The pipe stone or Catlinite head appears to be pump drilled and is of the early elbow type. The overall length is just over 24 1/2" and the pipe head is 2 5/8" high.
The stem and head draw and are not clogged. There are three bands of lead inlay in a diamond and band pattern.
Both the head and stem have a nice patina from age and use. This type of inlay was done by carving the design into the wood stem, then pouring molten lead into the carved form while wrapped in wet hide. The design was then scrapped down and finished. This example has gaps were the lead did not completely fill the carved design. I've added a photo from the late John Painters limited edition book which shows a similar round stem and elbow head.
The item "Antique Catlinite Pipe with Lead Inlay Stem-Early Pipe and Stem-3Q19th Century" is in sale since Sunday, August 23, 2020. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Cultures & Ethnicities\Native American\ US\1800-1934\Other Nat. The seller is "standingmoon" and is located in Placitas, New Mexico.
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