Covers for pipes

For various reasons smokers in the past preferred to cover their pipe bowl. Firstly, a lid prevented ashes from falling out of the pipe, giving protection against fire. A second reason might be the wind protection, especially when smoked in the open air. Already from the late seventeenth century simple metal covers were used. Archaeological finds prove mechanically pressed lids, with a rim that was more or less flexible. A fine chain with ring around the pipe stem prevents loss.

More typical are covers made from bass- or iron wire, often made by prisoners. The round type is the most common, in the early days also a more pointed version was made. A remarkable example has a small brass lid in the centre of the cover, not really a practical thing but certainly special. In the latter part of the nineteenth century the cylindrical pipe cover became fashion, especially used for the German porcelain bowls. These covers are mechanically made and the wire is no longer wrought by hand.

For the rich smoker more luxurious lids come on market. A gilt silver lid shows three acorns on the rims that hold the cover in position on the pipe bowl. The Dutch silver lids underline the status of the long stemmed clay pipes from the late 18th century till about 1900. The covers were changed from pipe to pipe when the fragile stem got broken.

In the nineteenth century the pipe cover becomes an industrial product. A nice example for that is a mechanically pressed lid from an eight sided Chemnitz bowl. The piercing and the relief work were made with a machine.

The precious Mid-European pipes from carved wood and meerschaum have more luxurious lids. A nice example is a cover in the shape of a Roman helmet. The plain meerschaum bowl shows a great variety in lids. The lens shape and the globular shape are the most common ones, always with a hinge attached to silver mounting around the bowl. Sometimes they have been embellished with silversmith work or even precious stones.

In the twentieth century only a few briar pipes have a lid or windshield, simple but functional, as the Dunhill-pipes show. Cheap lids that fit to almost every pipe are now produced in large quantities in German factories.

pressed brass lid with flexible rim, the Netherlands, 1700-1740 rather crude brass pipe lid of the previous type, the Netherlands, 1850-1880
the most common pipe cover with the round top and chain with ring, the Netherlands, 1880-1900 curious combination of a mini-lid in a wrought brass pipe cover, the Netherlands,1750-1800
fragile pipe cover with pointed top, Gouda, the Netherlands, 1710-1740
wrought brass pipe cover embellished with glass beads, the Netherlands, 1820-1860
pipe cover in severed brass wire, the Netherlands, 1880-1900
cilindrical pipe covers for porcelain bowls mechanically made, Germany, 1860-1890
a dozen pipe covers straight from the maker, the Netherlands, 1880-1900
pressed pipe cover factory made, Germany, 1880-1900
early silver pipe lid with hunting scene and leaves, security chain, the Netherlands, 1770-1820 pipe cover with on the dome shaped lid an obelisk that serves as a pipe tamper, Sint Petersburg, Russia, 1836
unusual shaped pipe cover with long rim, the Netherlands, 1820-1860
the interior of the pipe lid with the tamper visible, Sint Petersburg, Russia, 1836
octagonal silver pipe lid embellished with engravings, Schoonhoven, the Netherlands, 1840-1890
characteristic lid for the Dutch clay pipe with a folk art motive, the Netherlands, 1850-1880 simple pipe cover for the Dutch clay pipe shaped like a helmet with security chain, the Netherlands, 1830-1880
machine made octagonal pipe cover with pierced decoration, Germany, 1860-1900
beautifully shaped pipe cover in the shape of the Roman helmet, Fance, 1820-1850
simple flat bowl lid with three arms to fit on the German porcelain pipe bowl, Germany, 1810-1840 silver pipe lid for the porcelain stummel that slides over the bowl, France, 1830-1870 pipe cover with a double lid with a standing Napoleon rising from a coffin, Germany, 1835-1850
a general motif on pipe covers the shell decoration, Germany, 1830-1850
pipe cover with a helmet shape with feathers on the top and a rubin in the centre, Hungary?, 1830-1860
lid flattened on two sides under influence of the empire-styyle, 14 kt. gold, France, 1800-1820
pipe cover in silver machine made but with the allure of tailormade silversmith work,  Germany, 1840-1870
half round pipe cover with vertical openings in the lid, Sweden, 1820-1850 lid shaped as a lens with the opening along the bowlrim supported by small balls, Sweden, 1850-1880
nicely finished gilt silver pipe lid in colonial style, Sheffield, England, 1825
flat pipe lid with openings to guarantee sufficient air coming in, Vienna, Austria, 1860-1880
in the centre this lid is embellished with an engraved starlike motive, Sweden, 1850-1880
a pipe cover with an old silver coin in the centre of the lid, Norway, 1820-1840
silver lid with floral decoration sawn to realize an optimum in smoke, Vienna, Austria, 1850-1860
characteristic pipe lid for a wooden folk art pipe with oversized handle, Hungary?, 1840-1880
silver pipe lid with antique gem encircled by imitation diamonds, France, 1830-1850 beautiful six-sided lid with engraving and in the centre an enameled medaillion, Hungary, 1860-1880
machine made silver pipe cover on a typical slender Hungarian meerschaum bowl, Vienna, Austria, 1847
simple lid, dome shaped with a sitting dog on the top, on its tail a security chain, Hungary?, 1820-1830 cast silver lid characteristic for the wooden Ulm pipe, Ulm, Germany, 1830-1850 dome shaped lid with neo-gothic motifs inspired on the gothic architecture, Austria, 1830-1850
pipe lid shaped like the Habsburg emperor's crown with famous cross, Vienna, Austria, 1840-1850
silver pipe lid in Turkish style embellished with semi-precious stones, Vienna, Austria, 1830-1850
crown shaped silver pipe lid with security chain, Vienna, Austria, 1820-1840
remarkable pipe lid with a standing pegasus on a crown, Vienna, Austria, 1835-1850
small pipe lid in silver with a meerschaum insert with button, Vienna, Austria, 1870-1880 dome shaped pipe lid in meerschaum mounted in silver, openings in both materials, Vienna, Austria, 1830-1850
original pipe lid in silver with on the top in wood a lying dog, Ruhla, Germany, 1830-1860
the head of a dog as a lid, the tie serves to hold it on the pipe, Germany, 1830-1860 gilt bronze pipe lid with stilized s-shaped closing system, Germany, 1820-1840
fire gilt bronze pipe lid for a porcelain pipe from Meissen, Germany, 1820-1830
pipe lid shaped as a bird's nest, the young owl with spreaded wings, Germany, 1830-1850
the head of an eagle as a pipe lid for a figural briar, Germany, 1850-1880
carved folk art lid wiht two figures, the man holds a tobacco pipe, Schwarzwald, Germany, 1860-1880 the head of Pan serves as a lid for a figural porcelain pipe, Bohemia, Germany, 1840-1860 the head of a student as a lid for a porcelain ipe bowl, Bohemia, Germany, 1810-1835
folk art pipe lid with a towershape decorated with brass rings, Hungary, 1880-1900
the head of a dog as a lid for a figural pocelain pipe bowl, Bohemia, Germany, 1830-1860
curious lid shaped like a sitting dog, Schwarzwald, Germany, 1850-1870
top view of the practical modern pipe cover with round openings, Alfred Dunhill Ltd., London, England, 1981
briar wood lid almost invisible when closed, Chacom, Saint-Claude, France, 1930-1950
a briar pipe with a simple but practical lid in brass, Alfred Dunhill Ltd, London, England, 1981
machine made pipe lids with spring system that fit every pipe bowl, Germany and the Netherlands, 1880-1930
as a joke this pipe has been mounted with a bottle plug, France, 1970-1980
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