Canadian Fine Art

November 18, 2019

LOT 89

Lot 89


Lot 89 Details

mid-19th century
3.75 x 13.75 x .5 in — 9.5 x 34.9 x 1.3 cm

Estimate $20,000-$25,000

Realised: $18,000
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images

Collection of the Honourable George William Allan
By descent to Private Collection, Ontario


This fine example of a Haida panel pipe, created from argillite, was produced most likely between the 1830s and 1870s. Panel pipes were specifically made for commercial trade. The pipe is adorned with ten figures, an interlocking array of animals, birds and sea creatures that are specific to the Haida spiritual world.

This particular piece has an illustrious provenance. The pipe was part of the collection of the Honorable George William Allan (1822-1901) who was the principal patron of the Canadian artist, Paul Kane (1810-1871). The current owner is a direct descendant of G.W. Allan.

Kane travelled across the country between 1845 and 1848 sketching the Indigenous Peoples he met and the Canadian landscape. We know that he was in Fort Victoria in 1847, where the Haida people traded. It is also known that Kane recruited Hudson’s Bay Company employees to make acquisitions on his behalf that were shipped to him in Toronto. It is probable that Kane acquired this pipe during this period.

George William Allan directly purchased Kane’s entire artifact collection, along with his paintings and field sketches in the 1850s. Much of it is now housed in the Royal Ontario Museum and the Manitoba Museum.

By 1856 the collection was housed at Allan’s home in Toronto. Allan’s daughter, Maude Cassels, recalled the collection fondly: “[the collection] survived its worst enemies, loan exhibitions and moths, besides the dusting of the housemaids, the handling of visitors and the curiosity of the seven children, who grew up under the same roof with it.”

There is no denying the strong connection between the artist and his patron. The current owner, a direct descendant of G.W. Allan, is a testament to the strong provenance of the piece.


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 89

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.