Collection of pipe fragments "London"

140 €

London, England, 19th century, private collection from Finland.

Ceramic pipes, made of moulded and then fired clay, were used almost universally by Europeans between the introduction of tobacco in the 16th century. Early pipes tend to have small bowls as tobacco was relatively expensive at the period. Clay pipes have been used in Britain and Netherlands from the late 16th century onwards and exported all around the world in great quantities. In the Netherlands the city of Gouda was a major production centre.

Most pipes were produced locally in small, family run workshops using regional styles and diffrent shapes and qualities were produced for different markets. The preferred material for pipes was kaolin or pipeclay, which fires to a white colour and is found in only certain locations. The basic form is made by rolling out a ball of clay into a long "dummies", which will form the stem, with bulb at one end. A thin, oiled wire was inserted along the stem and the dummy was pressed in a pre-oiled, two part mould. A stopper is then inserted to form the bowl and the wire pushed through into the bowl. The pipes are the left to dry before being fired in batches in a kiln. After firing the mouth piece was painted with wax to prevent the smoker's lips from sticking to it. Traditionally, clay pipes are unglazed. Clay pipes had a short life expectancy and, once broken, were of no other use and discarded. In Victorian period bowls were often highly ornate. Patterns such as the bird claw holding an egg or sculptured faces became relatively common.

A stunning small collection of (c.1830-1899) clay pipe bowl fragments. Good condition. Age-related wear, dirt and soil. Museum markings. 7 individual pipe bowl fragments in a cardboard box. Size of the fragments varies from 5,0cm to 4,0cm. Sell as a set.