NOTE: The Collectors' Corner pages are exclusively for displaying items in the collections of members of the Pipe Club of London.
Click on any title to access
the desired page.
RIGHT: Antique Clays
- an assortment from the collection of
FAVOURITE CLAYS - antique or modern - to
ABOVE & RIGHT: Skull pipe
This rare macabre pipe of ceramic bisque is in the genre of "Memento mori"
- remember you are mortal. The period stem was crafted from a particularly
large albatross wing bone and fitted with fossil amber shank and mouthiece.
The sterling silver bands depict a boar and a lion. It was acquired from an antique dealer in Belgium who bought the exhibits from a museum in Holland that
was disposing of its tobacciana. From the Johnny Long collection - PCoL #UK603F
LEFT: "True Jacob" antique clays - 1800s
Oddly enough, in the late 19th Century, the "True Jacob"
clay was the most popular pipe in France.
The top pipe is the rather common example from Gambier.
The bottom one is extremely rare and has defied identifica-
tion from clay pipe collectors in the UK and Holland. Ken
Dworak, one of the most prolific clay collectors in England
has found a drawing of a similar pipe, the Téte Jacob
moyenne Number 749 made by Gisclon of France. However,
Heather Coleman, clay pipe maker and collector has found
another, the No. 181, c. 1885 in the Catalogue of Jean
Jacques Knoedgen, Brée. But the TRUTH is... ???
From the Johnny Long collection - PCoL #UK603F
The Clay Pipe
Top-notch clays are made in a labor-intensive process that requires beating
all air out of the clay, hand-rolling each pipe before molding it, piercing with
a fine wire, and careful firing. [ VIDEO ] Traditionally, clay pipes are
un-glazed. Clays burn "hot" in comparison to other types of pipes, so they
can be difficult to smoke. However, unlike other materials, a well-made pipe
gives a "pure" smoke with no flavor addition from the pipe bowl. Clay pipes
were once considered disposable items and the large quantities discarded
in the past are useful aids for dating archaeological sites. The muddy
bottom of the Thames has yielded up hundreds of thousands of them.
RIGHT: Clays from the Stephen Horsfall
collection - UK 650A
Top right to bottom:
1. French 'Jacob pipe', c.1900, by L.Fiolet.
2. Burmese pipe in the traditional style,
non-detachable metal stem, c.1975.
All the rest are modern reproductions of
historical types by 'Dawnmist Studio'
(Heather Coleman) of Exeter:
3. c.1900 'Upright', a type of
'nosewarmer' popular with working men
in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Similar to a 'Cutty', except that the short,
flat-bottomed heel enables it to sit
upright on a level surface.
4. A 17th-century 'Mulberry' pipe. The
bowl decoration resembles an upside-
down cluster of grapes but represents a
5. 17th C. Dutch mariner's pipe, also
called a 'Jonas-pipe', because the
decoration on the bowl and stem are
supposed to represent Jonah being
swallowed by the whale--although,
in photos of the originals, as here, the
whale looks more like an alligator!
(Note the enlarged detail--top left.)
6. c.1700 West-country 'tavern' or
7. Mid-19th C. 'Churchwarden'.
8. c. 1700 London-style 'tavern' pipe.
For an idea of scale, the bottom most pipe, the London tavern pipe, is about 15" long, including the bowl. The stem alone is 14". Be sure to click on the video
link at the upper-right portion of this page to see precisely how these pipes are made. Fascinating!