Wooden pipes

The use of wood for a tobacco pipe is at first glance a quite unexpected choice, since its burns easily. Nevertheless, from the end of the eighteenth century wooden pipes have been produced in various parts of Europe. To make them stand the time, the inner bowls were generally coated with plate metal, in later times also with a lawyer of grinded meerschaum or clay, mixed with glue. The protective layer made the pipes more durable.

Especially from Germany a lot of different wooden pipes are known. Quite renowned is the production place Ulm, where the famous Maserholz Pfeife was made, showing a bowl that is flattened on both sides, giving the pipe its particular silhouette. Other wooden pipes are inspired shapewise on the early porcelains, the clays or the meerschaums. The bag-shape and the Hungarian funnel shaped pipes, both copied from meerschaum pipes, are two examples that became extremely popular.

Wooden pipes showing a figural decoration are less industrial, more folk art. The pipe in the shape of a dancing bear, for instance, is a nice example. In this case the decoration is fully freed from the shape of the pipe. With other examples the traditional pipe shape is still preserved.

An odd wooden pipe is the bed pipe, a conical tobacco pipe, the bowl having a metal interior and a metal lid, over which a wooden cover is screwed. The pipe, being lit and closed, can be smoked in bed without the risk of setting the straw bag to fire, since the burning tobacco can not get out of the pipe.

In the second half of the nineteenth century the traditional pipe in wood is replaced by the briar pipe, then already machine made. The main change is of course the disappearance of the inner metal layer that makes the pipe more tasteful and much lighter in weight. Only in Central-Europe the wooden pipe lined with metal is produced till the early twentieth century.

early wooden pipebowl with bagshape, iron interior and silver mounting, Mid-Europe, 1830-1850 soft wood lined with metal and mounted with brass, Mid-Europe, 1790-1830
top view showing the eight sided lid, Mid-Europe, 1790-1820
shapeless wooden pipe with primitive conical metal lid, Mid-Europe, 1800-1830
topside of the pipe with rosette on the lid and engraved owners initials, Mid-Europe, 1830-1850
characterisic Ulm pipe with carved bowl and silver mountings, Ulm, Germany, 1830-1850
Ulm pipe with nicely decorated silver lid with a Turk on the top and gilt details including owners initials, Ulm, Germany, 1830-1860
Ulm pipe profusely decorated with silver nails and finished with a silver helmet as lid, Ulm, Germany, 1830-1860
carved Ulm pipe with family coat of arms and silver lid and stub, the stem in buffalo horn, Ulm, Germany, 1830-1860
unusual human head applied to an Ulm shaped pipe bowl, Ulm, Germany, 1820-1850
luxourious pipe with an open carved base with a hunting scène, silver lid with sitting dog in ivory, Ulm, Germany, 1830-1850
the Ulm shape transformed into a figural deer with the owner's  initials on the front of the bowl, Ulm, Germany, 1860-1880
traditional mid-European pipe with wooden bowl, brass mountings and iron stem, Hungary, 1830-1880
cilindrical softwood pipe carved with a standing Mercury, Germany, 1830-1840
Hungarian shape with family coat of arms and silver mountings, Germany, 1830-1860
nicely carved scene from a workshop for ropes, Germany, 1820-1840
Hungarian bowl with primitive carving of a plough with houses on the horizon, Germany, 1830-1850
local wooden pipe with a luxourious silver mounting and antler stem, Hungary, 1840-1880
fine wooden gesteckpfeife with scene of two hunters and some animals, Germany, 1860-1890
wooden pipe bowl fitted in silver with a coat of arms helt by lions and an elaborate lid, Hungary, 1840-1880
family coat of arms on a flower field, Switserland, 1830-1840
curious pipe bowl shaped like a pelican feeding its offspring, parts inlayed with ivory, Mid-Europe, 1830-1860
folk art pipe representing a stilized dog, Germany, 1830-1850
magnificent pipe bowl representing a double headed eagle with spread wings, Germany, 1810-1850 sitting dog as pipe bowl, the bowl interior protected with meerschaum, Germany, 1840-1870
folk art pipe representing a dancing chained bear, the head is the lid of the bowl, metal lining inside, Germany, 1830-1880
Gesteck pipe made from various parts of tree twigs, Schwarzwald, Germany, 1830-1870
beautiful table pipe with an eagle's head on an antler disk, the beak in ivory, Germany, 1900-1910 table pipe showing a chimpansee, the bowl is lined with meerschaum, France, 1910-1930
fantasy portrait of a man with long beard, bowl inside meerschaum coated, Germany, 1850-1880
softwood base mounted with two metal bowls shaped like towers, Hungary, 1900-1920
portrait pipe of a man with a rimmed hat and buffalo horn stem, France, 1830-1860 softwood folk art pipe with three human faces, France, 1860-1900
wooden pipe nicely decorated and mounted with an extreme high brass lid, Hungary, 1880-1910
rustic cheroot holders simply carved out of tree branches, France, 1880-1900
inlay of mother of pearl in wood and mounted with silver decorations, Gorjushe, Victor Lotric, 1920-1940
wooden pipe in the shape of a clay pipe, Hungary, 1870-1900
hardwood pipes shaped like clay pipes, Saint-Claude, France, 1890-1910
unusual bed pipe from turned wood, metal inside and buffalo horn mouthpiece, Germany, 1880-1900
figural tobacco pipe shaped like an early Peugeot, Regad, Saint-Claude, France, 1905-1910
wooden smoking pipe based on the design of a clay pipe, France, 1850-1880 weichsel pipe bowl as a wheel barrier with a heap of sand, Ropp, Bussang, France, 1880-1900
the tobacco pipe bowl shaped like a champagne bottle on wheels, Saint-Claude, France, 1915-1920
weichsel tobacco pipe shaped like a wooden shoe, Ropp, Bussang, France, 1890-1910
wooden table pipe with a flexible stem for comfortable smoking, France, 1900-1920
All objects on this page are part of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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