Long before briar wood came into use for pipes, other woods were used to make pipes, how strange the choice of wood for a burning pipe might be. Because of the risk of burning, some were covered inside with sheet metal. For instance the typical and well-known Ulm pipes with their flattened shape have these interiors, as well as other products from German Bohemia and Ruhla in Thüringen.
Some French pipe makers have used (and still do) cherry wood, called mérisier in French, which gives a slightly sweet taste to the tobacco. Funny sculptures shaped as French bohemians hide a pipe in a case as a man’s body; they are called ‘Barbizonne’. Sometimes a cheroot holder is added to make it multi-functional.
When briar industry started around 1850, briar pipes were made by means of engine driven turning wheels. Nevertheless handwork is still indispensible, facilitating to vary in details and finish. Every maker tried to attract customer’s attention, sometimes by adding accents in silver or ivory in mounting the pipe.
All kind of systems to reduce or gather the moisture of the tobacco were invented: screws, sluices, filters in endless patents tried to achieve drier and cooler smoking. In the twentieth century the design got more efficient than outrageous. Only a few special designs such as the wooden shoe and the fist stay for longer, the majority is just functional.
Amsterdam Pipe Shop is specialized in collectors items on pipes