Zulu Snuff Spoons - South Africa

South African artistry, answering the needs of both utility and style, applied its remarkable approach to design in snuff paraphernalia that doubled as eye-catching accessories. These two thin snuff spoons were worn as hairpins, beautifying their owner’s coiffure in the manner illustrated below. Horn was often used for the carving of such spoons, and here the artist has incised the durable surface with pigmented notches of red and green. The shorter spoon features an openwork design of four joined rings, a visual enhancement that also renders the spoon more easily grasped.

Late 19th century
14 3/4”, 10 1/2” l
Bone, pigment
Provenance: Private UK collection
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