The most popular shape for the porcelain pipe bowl is the so-called stummel, or in German Holländisches Modell, an elongated oval bowl with on the base a knob shaped heel and a short stem. These bowls were inserted in a base made from buffalo horn or later porcelain to connect the bowl with the up-going stem, also to collect the moisture from smoking.

The plain shape of the stummel was the ideal base for the development of porcelain painting. From 1780, the start of the production, fashionable miniature paintings were applied. Popular subjects are portraits, elegant scenes, topography and historic scenes.

Like so many objects of applied art the quality of the pipes declined in course of the decades. After 1850 the paintings become more crude and more often the hand painted decorations start to alternate with screen prints and decals. At the same time the refined depictions disappear and hunting scenes are going to dominate as a theme.

A special section are the pipes made on request and personalised with a family name, a family coat of arms or representation of a profession, quite often with a dating. These bowls were ordered by private persons at a Hausmaler who painted scenes on request.

Less interesting from esthetical point of view are the military subjects, although highly appreciated among a small group of collectors. These reservist pipes were a present to the soldier that left the army. The gift mentions the name of the soldier and some examples also show the names of all his mates at the back of the bowl, in two long rows. These pipes are part of the mass production of pipes and are the last success for the porcelain industry.

After 1900 the stummel disappears as serious smoking pipe and becomes a souvenir item. Again the more fashionable and more comfortable briar pipe takes its place.

beautiful example of a porcelain with elaborate gilt and silver decoration on the bowl including the word Amitié, Manufacture Royale, Sèvres, 1810-1840 handpainted portrait showing Michiel Adriaensz. de Ruijter, a Dutch hero from sea-battles, Germany, 1840-1860
stummel showing the original mounting with buffalo horn base and upgoing stem, Germany, 1840-1860
fabulous porcelain bowl with the portrait of a smoker based on a Dutch master, Sèvres, France, 1810-1820 back of the pipe bowl with gold leaf decoration in geometric pattern, Sèvres, France, 1810-1820
detail of the pipe smoker showing the quality of the painting, Sèvres, France, 1810-1820
miniature painting with an erotic flavour, Könichlichen Porzellan Manufaktur, Berlin, Germany, 1830-1850
large stummel with in gilt frame the portrait of a woman, the lid in gilt silver, Porzellan Faktur Schney, Schney, Germany, 1840-1870
example of a simple bute nicely painted monochrome landscape, Manufaktur Volkstedt, Germany, 1790-1820
family coat of arms made for a special order, Germany, dated 1849
pipe bowl with in relief the profile portrait of king William III of the Netherlands, Germany, 1860-1880 prince William II and prince Frederik, transfer in encre de Chine style, Germany, 1835-1840
stummel with Wirtshaus scene in many colours and framed in goldleaf borders, Germany, 1840-1870
monochrome painting of a hunting dog in landscape, Könichliche Sächsischen Porzellan Manufaktur, Meissen, Germany, 1830-1860 the portrait of a general painted on special request, Könichliche Porzelan Manufaktur, Berlin, Germany, gedateerd 1840
skillfully painted emblem of friendship together with an inscription, Germany, 1850-1870
three bowls with screw base and inscriptions in Dutch, Bohemia, Germany, 1860-1880
emblem of a smokers' club founded in the year 1856, Germany for the Dutch market, 1880-1900,
short stemmed so called Dutch hanging pipes with a porcelain bowl on a buffalo stem, Germany, 1850-1900
one of the many hundreds of elegante lady portrayals for the Biedermeier smoker, Germany, 1840-1860
Leda and the swan, a motive to depict a naked lady, Germany, 1850-1880
detail of an erotic scene, a fly with in miniature love making pesons on the wings, Germany, 1860-1890
small sized stummel with finely painted flowers, Könichliche Sächsischen Porzellan Manufaktur, Meissen, Germany, 1880-1920 nicely made mass produced item with a bunch of flowers in relief in different colours, Germany, 1880-1900
a snuff taker in local French costume is a remarkable subject for a tobacco pipe, Germany, 1850-1890
the reformers Luther, Huss and Ronge united on a stummel, handpainted, Germany, 1860-1890
Pope Leo XIII, no longer handpainted but a couloured print, Germany, 1880-1900
large size bowl with in mass decorated picture of a gay historic person, the stem showing an old repair, Germany, 1880-1900
hand painted emblem from a period in which the decorated porcelain pipe was already out of fashion, Germany, 1923 cheap gift pipe with Zum Geburtsdag, for your anniversary, Germany, 1880-1900
stummel with image of a horse, Germany, 1880-1900
pipe for a reservist with battle scene between oak leaves, the lid shaped like a military hat, Germany, 1890-1910 reservist pipe with soldiers in the field, surmounted by the name of the owner, Germany, 1901
other side of the bowl listing the names of his fellow soldiers, Germany, 1901
All objects on this page are part of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum
© copyright Amsterdam Pipe Museum - Pijpenkabinet Foundation, the Netherlands