Presentation § 6

History of the museum

Like many museums, the Amsterdam Pipe Museum was founded as a private collection. In 1969 the Amsterdam collector Don Duco brought together his first pipes of archaeological origin, discovered during renovation work in Amsterdam. This formed the base of the museum and inspired the founder to start historical research. These pipe finds led to a profound study on the production of clay pipes in Western Europe, in which field Duco has taken the lead in various themes.

From 1975 to 1982 the collection was on view on the Amsterdam Frederiksplein, in the back of an antique and modern art gallery. The focus of that time was clay tobacco pipes and an exhibition of over 400 items gave an impression of the variety of historic pipes used in West-Europe. From the Pijpenkamer a network for collectors was started, including the medium Pijpelijntjes, the first magazine specialized on clay tobacco pipes.

In 1982 the collection moved to Leiden, to be housed in the boardroom of one of the city's almshouses called Hof Meermansburg. This stately home offered a suitable environment for the ever growing collection. The museum was called Pijpenkabinet and was housed there till 1995 and functioned as public museum. Since its inception the collection has been ever-expanding with continuous acquisitions accounting over 29,500 items at the present time.

The base of the former archaeological collection gradually evolved to feature more examples of the cultural history of smoking as acquisitions progressed. Thereafter, the collection expanded exponentially from Dutch to Global interest. This meant that pipes of all materials from different sources in the world were added. These included historic pieces, folk art items and ethnographic pipes.

In 1995 the foundation decided to move with its collections to Amsterdam, along one of the four great canals that form the centre of this vibrant city. It is to be found along the Prinsengracht, between the Leidseplein and the National Museum (Rijksmuseum). Since that date the museum is housed in a typical Amsterdam canal house.

In Amsterdam the activities of the Pijpenkabinet Foundation continued. Important collections of pipes and related items from museums that closed down were taken over. Also remarkable acquisitions from collectors and private persons came in. Ongoing research brought a new series of articles and some more books, of which the standardwork on the Gouda pipemakers' marks is the most important. Of great interest for collectors and researchers is a new website, launched in 2011, with over 150.000 images of items from the Amsterdam Pipe Museum.

early wooden pipes pipes of various materials
pipemaker's marks
pr-columbian and American-Indian pipes modern briar pipes
Cameroon pipes
Dutch decorated clay pipes opium pipes and paraphernalia
carved meerschaum pipes
porcelain pipes pipes from Asia
carved briar pipes
covers for pipes the making of clay pipes
painted porcelain pipes
waterpipes figural clay pipes
etnographic pipes
meerschaum cheroot holders stemmed clay pipes
interior of Pijpenkamer in Amsterdam, 1975-1982
two showcases with Gouda pipes in the Pijpenkamer in Amsterdam, 1975-1982
interior of the Pijpenkabinet in Leiden, 1982-1994
one of the show cases with a selection of the famous Dutch pipe works P. Goedewaagen & Sons, Gouda, Holland
click for objects from the Amsterdam Pipe Museum
early wooden pipes pijpen van onverwachte materialen
pipemaker's marks
pr-columbian and American-Indian pipes modern briar pipes
Cameroon pipes
opium pipes and paraphernalia Dutch decorated clay pipes
This is the old website of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum.
Visit our new website
including the on-line collection .
Amsterdam Pipe Museum - the worldwide culture of pipe smoking
© copyright Amsterdam Pipe Museum - Pijpenkabinet Foundation, the Netherlands