Collections § 11

Different fields of collecting

The collection of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum consists of different parts that can also be seen as separate chapters in the history of smoking. Each of them has its own meaning for purposes of research that the museum does or for the permanent presentation in the museum.

The prehistory of smoking is illustrated with the collection of pre-Columbian pipes from Middle- and South-America that date back to 500 BC. Despite of the great rarity of these, mainly archaeological objects, the Pijpenkabinet managed to acquire the best collection of pre-Columbian pipes outside Mexico.

number of items 80

The excavated pipes from the Netherlands and West-Europe form in number an important part of the collection. In this collection examples of all the different styles of pipes are preserved. As a reference and study collection this part of the collection has been the base for the series of archaeological books the museum published.

number of items 8.016


The clay tobacco pipes from the nineteenth and twentieth century from different European countries also are an important category. These objects illustrate the enormous variety in shapes and designs, including the rich selection of figural pipes that are a special attraction to many museum visitors. Of several renowned factories the museum holds a representative production-review.

number of items 6.864


The category of pipes made from ceramic is closely related to the clay tobacco pipe, although they are not traditionally casted in a metal mould but made from liquid clay in plaster moulds or they are hand modelled. The origin shows a wider scope but in general the dating is more recent.

number of items 2.405


The collection porcelain pipes, originating from France and the German-speaking countries, is not represented in any other Dutch museum. From the rare figurals pipes from the eighteenth century and the artistically painted nineteenth century examples the museum owns a rich selection. The most important factories are Meissen, Nymphenburg, Königliche Porzellan Manufacture in Berlin, and from France Sèvres.

number of items 985


Pipes from meerschaum are respected to be the most attractive ever made. The special qualities of the material makes carving easy, which often led to highly artistic achiefments. During the use colouring starts, which gives these pipes unexpected patinas. Starting as a tobacco pipe, in the second half of the nineteenth century the meerschaum developed to interesting cheroot holders.

number of items 476


The selection of wooden pipes is most varied. From the eighteenth and nineteenth century are soft wooden pipe bowls lined with meerscaum or shield metal. Other interesting and nice examples are decorated on folk-art level as well as artistic. After the middle of the nineteenth century the briar pipe dominates. From that time onwards we see tradition and modern design alternate: the Pijpenkabinet collection preserves the billiard and the bulldog next to the Porsche design and the Bugatti.

number of items 1456


To the category of various materials curiosities such as glass, metal, agate, bone, ivory etcetera belong. Even pipes from shell or the pincett of a crab exist. Most of these products never became popular as smoking pipe; they were gifts for curiosity and display purpose mainly. The Pijpenkabinet shows a selection of these pipes from different countries and in unexpected designs.

number of items 465


The collection of ethnographic pipes encounters a selection of over sixty countries in Africa, Asia and America. Especially in Africa smoking is extremely popular, pipes from some cultures are rich examples of expression, playing a part in their ceremonies. In contrast are the pipes from the Near-East, the ancient Ottoman Empire, being skilfully made and refined in shape. The Asian specimen varies from most course pipes from the mountain tribes in Yemen to the refined kiseru from Japan.

number of items 1.985


The opium pipes from China form group on its own. For this most addicting way of smoking exquisite objects exist, having stems in bamboo, ivory, tortoise and cloisonné. Some opium pipes are embellished with precious stones in gold or silver mounting. The bowls, in which the costly opium is consumed, are true examples of Chinese craftmanship made in the famous local stoneware, in porcelain or even in jade.

number of items 317


The original pipe makers tools illustrate the manufacturing processes in all its aspects. Especially the hundreds of brass moulds throw light on a unique industry in West-Europe that in the meantime disappeared. Of the most important Gouda factory, the Goedewaagen firm, the museum preserves the complete inventory of the workshop. In comparison tools from other centres in the world are added to the collection.

number of items 2.845


The chapter tobacco curiosities illustrates the culture of smoking. In this collection utensils in folk art as well as more artistic items are kept. Some examples are bridegrooms' pipes, pipe cases, covers for pipe bowls, also braziers, tobacco jars and pipe boxes. This collection completes the image of the smoker and its social environment from the seventeenth century till present day.

number of items 770


A relatively small collection encounters ethnographical tobacco related items from non-European countries. The most popular are the pipe cases and tobacco containers from Japan or the beautifully decorated snuff bottles from China. In this chapter you also find some remarkable statuettes showing smokers from primitive cultures.

number of items 109


Related to the ritual of taking opium is a collection of opium paraphernalia that illustrates the habit of smoking opium. Next to spatulas, needles and scrapers also nicely decorated jars to store the opium are in the collection. Also lamps for heating the opium and trays and even neck rests are present in this group.

number of items 110


A collection of smokers prints, drawings and paintings represents the use of the pipe and the habit of smoking. From all periods illustrations have been brought together, making the setting of pipe smoking visible. Next to depictions of groups of smokers, also portraits of individuals occur, all of them showing the relation between clothing and the pipe in use, some also expressing the social layer by its interior.

number of items 403


A collection of original records informs us about the history of the workshops and their owners. The collection encounters guild regulations, lists of makers' marks, personal annotations, also business cards, letterheads and pricelists. These items often represent the fashion styles of the era they were in use and are of great importance for knowing more about the workshops.

number of items  668


A group of tobacco wrappers and packages illustrate the iconography of the various tobacco products. Original packages are collected next to the prints that survived from the late seventeenth century to present day and from all parts of the world. The largest groups in this section are the wrappers and box labels for cigars.

number of items  3278

The total number of museum objects in October 2016 is 32.293

figural clay pipes waterpipes
pipes of various materials
Dutch decorated pipes porcelain pipes
carved briar pipes
stemmed clay pipes etnographic pipes
painted porcelain pipes
meerschaum cherootholders opium pipes and paraphernalia
the making of clay pipes
modern briar pipes pipes from Asia
Cameroon pipes
early wooden pipes covers for pipes
carved meerschaum pipes
pr-columbian and American-Indian pipes pipemaker's marks
the oldest smoking pipes in the world, Laos, 1800-1200 BC
a selection of pre-Columbian pipes from Mexico, 400-1200 A.D.
rare glazed pipes, the Netherlands, 1620-1700
display stand with enameled French clay pipes, France, 1860-1900
click for objects from the Amsterdam Pipe Museum
Franse figurale kleipijpen waterpipes
pijpen van onverwachte materialen
Dutch decorated pipes porcelain pipes
carved briar pipes
stemmed clay pipes etnographic pipes
painted porcelain pipes
meerschaum cherootholders opium pipes and paraphernalia
the making of clay pipes
modern briar pipes pipes from Asia
Cameroon pipes
early wooden pipes covers for pipes
carved meerschaum pipes
pr-columbian and American-Indian pipes pipemaker's marks
porcelain portrait pipes, Jacob Petit and others, France and Germany, 1810-1880
Austrian-Hungarian meerschaum pipes with silver fittings, 1820-1880
drawer cabinet with briar pipes, Royal Gubbels, Roermond, the Netherlands, 1950-1960
click for objects from the Amsterdam Pipe Museums
figural clay pipes waterpipes
pipes of various materials
Dutch decorated pipes porcelain pipes
carved briar pipes
stemmed clay pipes etnographic pipes
painted porcelain pipes
meerschaum cherootholders opium pipes and paraphernalia
the making of clay pipes
modern briar pipes pipes from Asia
Cameroon pipes
early wooden pipes covers for pipes
carved meerschaum pipes
pr-columbian and American-Indian pipes pipemaker's marks
smoking pipes from various materials: buffalo horn, stone, silver, glass and more, 1800-1920
pipes made from clay with geometric patters, Grasslands, Cameroon, 1900-1950
bowls of opium pipes in various types of ceramic, China, 1800-1900
click for objects from the Amsterdam Pipe Museum
figural clay pipes waterpipes
pipes of various materials
Dutch decorated clay pipes porcelain pipes
carved briar pipes
stemmed clay pipes etnographic pipes
painted porcelain pipes
meerschaum cherootholders opium pipes and paraphernalia
the making of clay pipes
modern briar pipes pipes from Asia
Cameroon pipes
early wooden pipes covers for pipes
carved meerschaum pipes
pr-columbian and American-Indian pipes pipemaker's marks
carved briar pipes
stemmed clay pipes etnographic pipes
painted porcelain pipes
meerschaum cherootholders opium pipes and paraphernalia
modern briar pipes
the making of clay pipes Cameroon pipes
pipes from Asia
covers for pipes early wooden pipes
carved meerschaum pipes
pipemaker's marks pr-columbian and American-Indian pipes
carved briar pipes
pipemakers tools on display, Belgium, 1850-1920
various tobacco boxes, pipe covers and pipe cleaners, the Netherlands, 1630-1880
smoking farmer, dry needle by J.E. Marcus, Holland, 1813
letter heads, catalogues, photographs and other records, 1860-1930
cigarette boxes in various different designs, Amsterdam, 1900-1920
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Amsterdam Pipe Museum - the worldwide culture of pipe smoking
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