Research § 14

Research by the museum

Next to the function as a museum open to the public, the Amsterdam Pipe Museum (the former Pijpenkabinet) is primarily a research centre. In its research some major projects can be outlined. The oldest subject of research is the archaeology of the clay pipe, started in 1969 and still being continued. This includes to production as well as its function, both in material study and archives. In the past decade numerous articles and books have been published on this theme. De Nederlandse kleipijp, handboek voor dateren en determineren / The Dutch clay tobacco pipe, manual for dating and identifying (1987) and Merken en Merkenrecht van de pijpenmakers in Gouda / The pipe-makers in Gouda, their marks and ordinances (2003) are the two most important publications. These are cited worldwide. A revised version of the first book, to be published in English as well, is in preparation. In fact, publishing on the history of pipes is by far the most important way this specialist museum shares its knowledge with the public.

In the past the Amsterdam Pipe Museum also carried out research into specialized fields of interest. For instance, the history of a certain factory, the craft in a local settlement or the development of a particular pipe style. Examples of these activities are a study on the Blanc-Garin & Guyot factory (1983), and the reprint with introduction into the products of the famous Gambier factory (1987).

An extended work is the two publications dedicated to the Goedewaagen firm, the most important Dutch factory for pipes and ceramics. Koninklijke Goedewaagen, een veelzijdig ceramisch bedrijf (1999) describes the factory's history, including the ceramic production over two centuries. The second volume is the reprint of a manufacturer's catalogue from 1906, introduced with a brief history of the pipe shapes of the factory (2000). Important in this volume are the original names of the pipes, including their dating and historic prices.

A profound research to the European pipe industry of the nineteenth century is published in Century of Change, final flourish and ultimate fall of the West-European pipe industry 1830-1940 (2004). This book compares eighty different catalogues of pipe makers to interprete the development in style and fashion, but also the changes in social habits and the industry in general in a time span of a century, that finally lead to the disappearance of the craft.

Another remarkable publication is dedicated to commemorative pipes of the House of Orange. In this special monograph, titled De tabakspijp als Oranjepropaganda (1992), the tobacco pipe is described from the view of the makers as well as the smokers. The reader is informed about the function of the tobacco pipe in society over the period 1630 to 1980 as a social phenomenon carrying a political message. The book also served as a catalogue during a traveling exhibition on the subject, which was organized in six Dutch museums and two in Belgium and Germany.

Other articles deal with a special type of pipe. For example, the Turkish pipe, the history of the porcelain pipe, pipes from Cameroon or from the Maori. These profound articles are not only published in specialized magazines on pipes or archaeology, but also in professional journals relating to other fields such as ceramics, history and ethnology.

A specific study deals with opium and opium taking and is titled Opium en opiumschuiven. This monograph is the result of an extend litterature study and is a source book on the subject from cultivating papaver and preparing smoke opium to the use and effects of opium. Important part of the study is the description of the pipes and opium parafernalia in the Pijpenkabinet collection.

Next to ongoing research into archaeological and historical fields, the Pijpenkabinet Foundation also pays attention to more general aspects of pipe smoking. A popular subject is the history of smoking in various times and different continents, including regional influences. Concerning pipe shapes and smokers' customs, a first publication was completed with the nicely illustrated book The Intriguing Design of Tobacco Pipes / 25 Eeuwen roken (1993).

The curator of the museum, dr. D.H. Duco, received in 1988 the Pieter de la Court award from the Royal Academy of Science in Amsterdam to merit his pioneering research and series of publications.

For questions to the curator of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum click here to e-mail

researcher and writer Don Duco, 2005
pipemaker's marks covers for pipes
early wooden pipes
stemmed clay pipes etnographic pipes
Dutch decorated pipes
carved briar pipes opium pipes and paraphernalia
figural clay pipes
porcelain pipes pr-columbian and American-Indian pipes
modern briar pipes
Cameroon pipes meerschaum cherootholders
painted porcelain pipes
carved meerschaum pipes waterpipes
pipes of various materials
the making of clay pipes pipes from Asia
list for ordering the publications of the Pijpenkabinet, 2005
the handbook for the Dutch clay tobacco pipe, Leiden, 1987
click for objects from the Amsterdam Pipe Museum
pipemaker's marks covers for pipes
early wooden pipes
stemmed clay pipes etnographic pipes
Dutch decorated pipes
carved briar pipes opium pipes and paraphernalia
figural clay pipes
porcelain pipes pr-columbian and American-Indian pipes
modern briar pipes
Cameroon pipes meerschaum cheroot holders
painted porcelain pipes
carved meerschaum pipes waterpipes
pipes of various materials
the making of clay pipes pipes from Asia
pipemaker's marks
covers for pipes early wooden pipes
stemmed clay pipes
figural clay pipes etnographic pipes
the standardwork in which all the Gouds pipe makers' marks and their owners, Amsterdam, 2003
a reward from the Royal Academy of Science for the research in the pipe industry over the years, Amsterdam, 1988
prize medal of the Royal Academy of Science to Don Duco for his research on the history of the pipe industry in the Netherlands, ,Amsterdam, 1988
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