Dating clay tobacco pipes

05-Mar-2017 07:58

According to William Harrison (1573) "In these daies the taking-in of the smoke of the Indian herbe called 'Tobaco' by an instrument formed like a little ladell, whereby it passeth from the mouth into the head and stomach, is gretlie taken-up and used in England" (Harrison as cited in Oswald 1975:3).

Over the last twenty years the study and dating of clay pipes has become of increasing value as an aid to the dating of post-medieval sites and later intrusions into earlier sites.

Except for those with name stamps or patterns that could be identified by maker these have been divided by Peter Hammond into two age groups: pre-1750 and post-1750.

The earlier pipes have stubby, thick stems no more than 170 mm long, increasing to around 220 mm by the 1640s.

"Surely in my opinion there cannot be a more base, and yet hurtfull corruption in a country, than is the vile use (or rather abuse) of taking Tobacco in this Kingdome.

A custome lothesome to the eye, hatefull to the nose, harmfull to the braine, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomless." So wrote James I in 1604 in his 'Counterblaste to Tobacco,' but then he was no archaeologist.

Over the last twenty years the study and dating of clay pipes has become of increasing value as an aid to the dating of post-medieval sites and later intrusions into earlier sites.

Except for those with name stamps or patterns that could be identified by maker these have been divided by Peter Hammond into two age groups: pre-1750 and post-1750.

The earlier pipes have stubby, thick stems no more than 170 mm long, increasing to around 220 mm by the 1640s.

"Surely in my opinion there cannot be a more base, and yet hurtfull corruption in a country, than is the vile use (or rather abuse) of taking Tobacco in this Kingdome.

A custome lothesome to the eye, hatefull to the nose, harmfull to the braine, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomless." So wrote James I in 1604 in his 'Counterblaste to Tobacco,' but then he was no archaeologist.

Clearly, this wooden pipe is not part of the clay pipe history, or is it? The skull pipe is one of many shapes that carried special themes or advertisements.