An interesting section in the documentation of the Pijpenkabinet collections is the catalogues of pipe manufacturers. These books and leaflets show us in the variety of shapes and models of a particular time. Manufacturer's catalogues were first printed in the end of the eighteenth century. Especially in the second half of the nineteenth century these pipes became quite common.
Representatives of the manufacturer used the catalogues for facilitating the shopkeepers to order pipes. As a publicity tool, most catalogues are used until they disintegrated. A series of these rare printed examples have survived, varying from a simple one-sheet leaflet to impressive standard works illustrating hundreds of shapes.
Manufacturers catalogues inform us on the development of the tobacco pipes throughout the time even better than the products themselves, since most of them did not survive. In their product catalogue the manufacturer always tries to show the cream of their production and the most modern aspects of their assortment.
The publication Century of change, final flourish and ultimate fall of the European pipe industry describes the history of the tobacco pipe by comparison of eighty different catalogues of the collection Amsterdam Pipe Museum.
Illustrations on this page from the collections of Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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