Clay tobacco pipes

Clay pipes are the most popular kind of pipes that attract the largest numbers of collector’s. Not only are these pipes common finds during archaeological works, but thousands of decorated and undecorated clay pipes have been preserved.

Especially the clay pipes with engraved decorations that can be excavated from eighteenth and nineteenth century pits are very sought after for their fine details and well done artwork. Other finds, even the plain pipes, reveal information on the smokers or technical problems of the makers during the production.

The Gouda clay pipes are the finest in the world, the engravings were executed by skilled goldsmiths, but products from other centers can be as spectacular, such as the famous pipe finds from Stockholm, locally made in the English style for the home market.

The most elaborated clay pipes are the French figural pipes, produced from the beginning of the nineteenth century in a surprising number of varieties. Most collectors go for the effigy pipes, in which the pipe bowl represents a portrait of a human head. At first sight they display their artistic design, but for the searching collector they reveal their obvious or hidden link to contemporary history or even from the times before 1800.

All these fine clay pipes are produced in brass pipe moulds by considerable quantities. Therefore they are suitable as a collector’s item. Old catalogues, however rare they are, show the original products, but more often it is difficult or even impossible to determine the origin of clay pipes.

Smokiana pipeshop in Amsterdam is specialized in collectors items
on pipes and smoking © copyright Pijpenkabinet Foundation, Amsterdam

The oldest clay pipe with the portraits of members of the House of Orange, stadtholder Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms. the Netherlands, 1625-1630. Pipe bowl with a decoration in relief in a characteristic local style. Groningen, 1680-1700.
A clay tobacco pipe with an extremely short stem, broken but reused by an economic smoker.  Wet-Netherlands, 1680-1700.
Lumb of several pipe bowls thrown away because they sticked together with glaze. Alkmaar, 1680-1700.
Pipe bowl shaped like a vase commemorating the Peace of Aachen of 1748 showing portraits of royals and their arms. Gouda, 1748-1755.
The characteristic Gouda oval pipe bowl here six sided and showing a Peace of Aachen decoration. Gouda, 1749-1760.
Oval pipe bowl showing the arms of Gouda referring to the origin of the product. Gouda, 1840-1880.
Clay tobacco pipe showing the English shape with a hart in relief on the stem side of the bowl. Stockholm, Adolf Forsberg, 1770-1780.
So called fluted bowls in Englilsh style decorated in relief with royal arms. Stockholm, Adolf Forsberg, 1770-1780.
A pure Englilsh styled pipe bowl showing on the base a shell motive. Stockholm, Adolf Forsberg, 1770-1780.
Pipe bowl with stub showing the head of a horse. France, Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie, Job CLerc, 1920-1940.
Stub stemmed pipe showing the bust of king William I of the Netherlands, the details accentuated in different colors enamel. Belgium, Brée, Wingender-Knoedgen, 1840-1850.
Figural pipe bowl, the head of a man upside dowm, a hand in the stem holding a chain. France, Givet, firm J. Gambier, 1890-1900.
An amusing design referring to the art nouveau representing a frog with a shell on its back sitting on a leaf. France, Givet, firm J. Gambier, 1900-1910.
Show pipe for shop window purpose shaped like the bust of a helmet cavallier. France, Montereau, firm Dutel-Gisclon, 1860-1890. Front view of the shop window pipe, his helmet in opened position. Montereau, firm Dutel-Gisclon, 1860-1890.
A scaffolded Chinese, a caricature pipe with a short clay stem. France, Givet, firm J. Gambier, 1870-1890.
The most common of all portrait pipes representing Jacob of the bible produced by all the French and Belgium factories. France, Givet, firm J. Gambier, 1880-1900.
A beautiful portrait pipe of a man wearing a fez, a collar separates the bowl from the stem, details executed in enamel. France, Saint-Omer, 1850-1880.
Bust of a lady wearing a pearl necklace and a bonnet with embroidered slips. Belgium, unknown factory, 1860-1890.
The bowl of this stemmed pipe shows a hand holding a bunch of cigars, the details accentuated in bright enamel colours. France, Givet, firm J. Gambeir, 1900-1910.
Hidden between branches with leaves a sitting chicken with human look France, Givet, firm J. Gambier, 180-1890.
A commemorative pipe made at the occasion of emperor Napoleon III, his wife and son to the town of Rennes. France, Rennes, Crétal-Gallard, 1858. Amusing design of a snake swallowing a fish. France, Givet, firm J. Gambier, 1870-1890.
Beautiful figural pipe bowl with a sitting zouave, leaning against the pipe bowl. France, 1870-1890.
A pipe bowl with a stamped decoration of a pub made on special request, the lettering filled in with bronze paint. France, Marseille, Bonnaud Frères, 1890-1910.
Pipe bowl showing the caricature of a man, a large fly on his nose, enamel and lacquer. Belgium, Liège, firm Trees, 1900-1910.
Plaster molded pipe bowl covered with red paint representing a man with military hat. Germany, Ruhla, unknown factory, 1850-1880.
Bust of emperor Napoleon with characteristic hat, creamware like ceramic covered with brown-black paint and some gilding. Germany, Ruhla, 1850-1880.
The last production of long English clay tobacco pipes, sold on a modern plastic tray. England, 1970-1980.

Amsterdam Pipe Shop is specialized in collectors items on pipes
and smoking © copyright Pijpenkabinet Foundation, Amsterdam