Pipemakers' marks

Clay tobacco pipes often have a makers mark on the heel. In most of the cases these marks are stamped on the heel of the pipe with a special stamp, engraved with either a figure, initial or cipher. The Gouda marks are always nicely detailed, even on the small scale of 4 millimetres.

By the end of the seventeenth century a second way of marking pipes was introduced in Gouda. Pipes of the course quality were given a makers' mark in relief on the side of the pipe bowl. These pipes were short stemmed and served the workman, soon followed by the farmers. Hence, these pipes are generally known as farmers' pipes. Marks with initials of the makers or simple numbers are not really attractive, but depictions of persons, animals and utensils from daily life often show a primitive charm.

The mark was not only applied on the pipes. As an advertisement it was also printed on the paper wrappers that covered the boxes with pipes. For that purpose the mark was placed in a cartouche often surmounted with the coat of arms of the city of origin. A text ribbon gave to read the name and address of the maker. The best designs of these advertisements were made in Gouda in the years between 1740 and 1750, where some silversmith specialised in this work. Many of these printing blocks were kept in use over generations and some of the early eighteenth century designs were still used in the nineteenth century.

A rare example of the pride of a maker for his mark is illustrated with a Bohemian goblet with on the cuppa the engraving of a famous Gouda pipemakers' mark, especially in use for exportation. Possibly this kind of goblet, being one of a pair, was used during the official meetings of the guild masters, when discussing the situation of the industry.

The pipemakers' guild of Gouda kept a registration of all the marks in use. These documents now make clear who were the original owners of the marks. When the guild servant visited the members for control he carried a wooden tablet with all the registered makers' marks.

From the middle of the nineteenth century the value of the pipemakers mark declined. The customer is no longer interested in the renowned mark on a traditional pipe, in stead he is looking for a fashionable design. From 1880 onwards the makersmark is replaced by the full name of the manufacturer, that is impressed on the stem of the pipe.

The handbook on the pipe makers marks from Gouda is published by the curator of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum. It is used world wide for the dating of Dutch clay tobacco pipes. Read the review.

the stamps for placing a makers' mark on the heel of the clay pipe, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1820-1880 two stamps for marking the heel of the pipe, the handle of the upper is worn, Gouda, 1820-1860
engraving of the pipe makers' mark arms of the VOC, firm Jan Prince & Cie., Gouda, the Netherlands, 1850-1890
mark stamp with the typical flattened handle, firm P. Goedewaagen & Son, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1880-1900
from of the mark stamp here engraved with the initials DW, firm P. Goedewaagen & Son, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1880-1900
two pipes showing the shape and the heelmark WT initials above a jumping deer, Willem Teeck, Gorinchem, the Netherlands, 1625-1650
clay pipe with heel mark bell, Leiden, the Netherlands, 1660-1680
clay pipe with heel mark initials EB, Edward Bird, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1660-1680
nicely engraved heel stamp showing the emperors crown, in Dutch called keizerskroon, Maarten Bruijnvis, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1760-1775 bowl mark showing the good fortune, a woman holding an anchor and a pigeon, Joost Pietersz. Scharp, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1710-1725
the origignal version of the mark Fortuna on the side of the spur, Arij Fortuyn, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1720-1740 imitation of the mark Fortuna by an unknown maker, South-Holland, the Netherlands, 1730-1750
side mark of a soldier on its post, Jan Versluijs, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1740-1770 bowl mark representing the biblical Job on the dunghill, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1740-1760
curious mark showing a man with a wheelbarrow transporting a basket of pipes, widow De Vink, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1720-1750 bowl mark Bacchus on the barrel, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1740-1760
side mark smoking farmer under crown, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1750-1780
side mark three swans plus initials EV, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1710-1730
the cipher mark 74 under a crown, Jan Carlier, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1740-1775
monogram with the initials as, the s letter retrogade, Arij Sodaen, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1730-1740
examples of the arms of the city of Utrecht with the makers' initials, Gorinchem, the Netherlands, 1760-1790
three pipe bowls showing the mark egg basket, each individualized by the initials of the maker, Gorinchem, the Netherlands, 1760-1790
bowl mark NB crowned with the name of the maker, Nicolaes Bakker, Schoonhoven, the Netherlands, 1760-1780
tissue paper to wrap the bowls of the best quality pipes printed with the mark three diamonds, Hendrik van Steinvoort, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1830-1840
wrapper with advertisement of the pipemakers mark trowel including scrollwork, Jan van Beek, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1745-1765
advertisement for the makers' mark swan in the goblet, Willem van Noppen, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1755-1765 traditional emblem with the arms of the city of Batavia, Abraham van den Berg, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1745-1775 modern emblem illustrating the mark arms of Batavia, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1750-1775
printing block for a pipemaker with his mark M crowned held by women carrying bunches of clay pipes, A. van der Want Gzn., Gouda, the Netherlands, 1837 printing block of the mark 9 crowned in brass with a later copper insert, Hendrik Lunenburg, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1760-1830
copper printing plate showing maker's mark 90 engraved by Dillis van Oyen and in use till the late nineteenth century, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1740-1750
the most popular design for the framing of a maker's mark, two standing griffions holding the mark like a coat of arms, mark man on the bridge, Jan de Mol, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1760-1800
printing block with advertisement for pipes, in the middel space to insert a makers' mark, firm Jan Prince & Cie, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1860-1875
griffions holding the MSV mark, Cornelis Carlier, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1821
mark book with the registration of the makers' names and marks, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1782
insert for the printing block above with the mark Both, firm Jan Prince & Cie, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1860-1875
goblet with the pipemakers' mark B crowned, Bastiaan Overwesel, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1740-1750
printing block with mildmaid and text Trade Mark Gouda, firm Jan Prince & Cie, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1850-1880
page listing the initial marks not in use ats that moment, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1782
the maker's mark mermaid on the wooden guild tablet, Gouda, the Netherlands, registered 1747
wooden tablet of the Gouda pipemaker's guild with the maker's marks used by the control of the makers, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1690-1710
the maker's mark skater on the wooden guild tablet, Gouda, the Netherlands, registered 1712 the maker's mark trumpet player on the wooden guild tablet, Gouda, the Netherlands, registered 1674 the maker's mark arms of Gouda on the wooden guild tablet, Gouda, the Netherlands, registered 1681
the maker's mark swine on the wooden guild tablet, Gouda, the Netherlands, registered 1724 the maker's mark teapot on the wooden guild tablet, Gouda, the Netherlands, registered c. 1700 the maker's mark peat basket on the wooden guild tablet, Gouda, the Netherlands, registered 1718
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