bookreview Century of Change,
the European clay pipe, its final flourish
and ultimate fall

Original title: Een een van verandering, nabloei en verval van de Europese kleipijp, 1830-1940

D.H. Duco

The tobacco pipe seems to have disappeared rapidly during the last decades. A situation quite different from a century ago: spread throughout Europe, a dozen large factories made an annual production of clay pipes in quantities of millions to supply smokers with fashionable and innovative smoking implements. Don Duco, curator of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum, made this observation and captured this aspect of daily life in his latest book: Century of Change.

Century of Change is based on a source never used before: the sales catalogues of clay tobacco pipes, rare specimens of early printed advertising material. The book treats the period from 1830 to 1940, a century in which Duco observes a change in fashion among smokers that leads to an unprecedented boom in the pipe trade. Socially committed smokers created a huge demand for strikingly decorated pipes. French firms, in particular, supplied these pipes in thousands of different designs, of which the finest examples are illustrated in this book.

After 1880, the demand for pipes slackened and the industry declined. The author explains this decline by pointing out the economic and especially social factors that result in new consumer trends and smoking habits. Nevertheless, some firms manage to continue, despite the waning trade. They do so by introducing innovative techniques and modern designs, or, in other cases, by adopting cost-reducing semi-mechanical techniques. Many examples, from luxury streamlined pipes to simple export articles, are illustrated in this book, often for the very first time. Apart from the French firms mentioned, known and unknown producers from Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Holland and Germany are represented by their catalogues.

The book is a real eye-opener: in nearly 200 pages an article as common as a pipe proves to be unexpected in its design and informative as a source for social history. The illustrative material shows series of the most characteristic production of all the factories, professionally commented by the author. Pipe smokers will be astonished to view such extravagant ornamentation on the pipes of their ancestors. For historians and archaeologists the book is the only source that throws light onto this everyday utensil from the 19th and 20th century. And all people interested in the evolution from craft to early industrialisation, the development of design and publicity, will discover entirely new insights in this book.

This book records the appearance of a crafted product, from the highly artistic figural pipe to the humble bubble-blowing pipe. Nowadays, the clay pipe is only a museum exhibit, but the curator of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum proves once more that this simple item is imbued with a remarkable history.


Publisher: Amsterdam Pipe Museum, Pijpenkabinet Foundation, Amsterdam, 2004

ISBN 90-70849-22-4

192 pages, full English text

364 illustrations, with over 1500 pipes depicted

size 29 x 22 cm, paperback

Price € 50 (excluding P&P)

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The publication Century of Change deals with the following factories:

  • Victor Belle, Erôme-Serves
  • Blanc-Garin & Guyot, Givet
  • Hyppolyte Léon Bonnaud, Marseille
  • Bonnaud Fils, Marseille
  • Gebrüder Bordollo, Grünstadt
  • Job Clerc, Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie
  • Fernand Croquet-Michel, Maisières
  • Debevere, Kortrijk
  • Duméril Leurs fils & Cie, Saint-Omer
  • Louis Fiolet, Saint-Omer
  • firm J. Gambier, Givet
  • Peter Gillis, Höhr
  • Gisclon, Lille
  • firm P. Goedewaagen & Sons, Gouda
  • Koninklijke Goedewaagen NV, Gouda
  • GTP, Gouda Tobacco Pipes, Gouda
  • A. Gulbrandson, Torpsfors
  • Hammer, Baumbach
  • Paul Hein & Sohn, Hilgert
  • Joseph Holland & Sons, Manchester
  • Hollandia, Van der Want & Barras, Gouda
  • Ivora, firma P. van der Want Gzn., Gouda
  • Jacobi, Adler & Co, Neuleiningen
  • Wilhelm Klauer, Baumbach
  • Jean Jacques Knoedgen, Brée
  • Theo Lamp & Co, Höhr
  • McDougall & Company, Glasgow
  • Samel McLardy, Manchester
  • Morelli, Marseille
  • Gebrüder Müllenbach, Höhr
  • Müllenbach und Thewald, Höhr
  • Karl Gelhard Nachfolger, Hilgert
  • John Pollock, Manchester
  • Gérard Prugnaud, Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie
  • F.S. Radermacher, Hilgert
  • Saillard, Besançon
  • J. Schilz-Müllenbach, Höhr
  • Scouflaire Frères, Onnaing
  • Wilhelm Albrecht Simonis, Hilgert
  • R. Smitheman & Co., Broseley
  • Ewald Spang, Baumbach
  • Peter Spang Sohn, Baumbach
  • James Turpin & Sons, Macclesfield
  • firm P. van der Want Gzn., Gouda
  • Julius Wingender, Höhr
  • Wingender-Knoedgen, Chokier
  • Zenith, firm P.J. van der Want Azn, Gouda
  • Zenith van der Want, Utrecht
cover ot the book with colourful pages from the Klauer catalogue, Baumbach, Germany, 1900-1910
each catalogue is discussed in a special chapter indicating the designs of that specific factory
page from the catalogue of a whole saler with contemporary Dutch designs, Saillard, Besançon, France, 1843
frontispice of the catalogue of Louis Fiolet, Saint -Omer, France, once the largest pipe factory
page illustrating glazed cutties for export, Wilhelm Klauer, Baumbach, Germany, c. 1900
cover with the impressive factory building of Samuel Mc.Lardy in Manchester, c.1912
some of the pipe shapes by Samuel Mc.Lardy, Manchester, catalogue c. 1912
amusing fiigurals with a stem text in English for exportation to England, Julius Wingender, Höhr, Germany, c. 1910
unusual figural pipes, the lower two with clay caps, Louis Fiolet, Saint-Omer, France, 1846
traditional Dutch styled pipes with long stems in a french whole sale catalogue a large variety of human figures in the earlierst known catalogue of Gambier based on French designs these pipes were produced in the river Meuse region by several makers
the production of Edmé Gisclon in Lille, a unexpected variety in shapes figural stemmed pipes by Gisclon often with political related subjects the Gouda firm Goedewaagen known with an assortment of various most traditional pipes the beautiful catalogue of the firm P. van der Want Gzn. in Gouda, Holland
modern slib casted pipes often indicated as mystery pipes made in various Gouda factories pipes from a modern clay pipe works in Manchester with limited shape variety in oldfashioned styles

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