"Almost everything you could wish to know about Clay Tobacco Pipes"

An introduction to this Subject brought to you by Heather Coleman

My interest in clay pipes as an amateur archaeologist and clay pipe maker are shared with you here...

I have been collecting clay pipes for well over 30 years and have built up a vast library of information as well as doing my own research and publications. I hope you will find my website informative on this subject. I am available to answer your questions about clay pipes and if there are some I can not answer then I can usually put you in touch with someone else who might.

PLEASE ALLOW UP TO 5 DAYS FOR A REPLY - as sometimes I am busy in the studio making pipes!

e-mail me: heather@dawnmist.org


  About my own interest in this topic - How it all began
  Photograph Gallery and some History of Clay Pipes
  BUY Dawnmist Studio Clay Pipes made by Heather
  BUY Old Clay Pipes and Books for Collectors, Education Projects etc.
  My Clay Pipe CD ROM for Sale
  Visit the Dawnmist Studio Clay Pipe Hall of Fame!
  The Bristol Auction of WD & HO Wills Pipes and Tobacciana - 2002
  Some Dutch Clay Pipes
  Some Giant Clay Pipes
  Books and other Publications about Clay Tobacco Pipes

Regional English Styles c.1650-1750

The general shape of the English clay pipe bowl was similar all over the country until about the middle of the 17th century. At this time the industry really began to flourish and by the 1720 period there were pipe makers in all the major towns and cities. The size of the bowl had doubled to hold more tobacco which had become very affordable and the style of the bowl varied from region to region. Leading centres such as London and Bristol produced elegant slender shapes that contrasted with the thicker rugged looking pipes smoked by country folk. The photograph here shows a variety of these from locations including London, Bristol, Devon, Wiltshire, Shropshire and the North of England.

Hayes Barton in Devon, England. Birth place of Sir Walter Raleigh the famous Devon born Sea Captain and Privateer who founded the Virginia Colony in the New World and was later sent in search of El Dorado Gold in South America. He is also known for making the habit of smoking in England popular in the Tudor period.

Religious leaders of the time as well as King James Ist were not keen on the idea of this filthy habit and people were persecuted for smoking. I wonder what Sir Walter would have to say about the recent smoking bans; history has once again come a full circle. Perhaps blowing bubbles is a healthier option!

It is said that when his servant first saw him smoking he thought that he was on fire and threw water over his head! It is not known exactly where this event took place although many have said it was in Ireland where he owned property. I have made up a little ditty which I hope you will find amusing.

Jacob Pipes

There are over 200 variations of the Jacob pipe copied by makers all over Europe. Although the original design was created as early as the 1840 period the majority commonly found come from the 1880-1930 period and were most often made by big firms such as Gambier of Paris. Gambier were the largest and most famous of pipe makers and flourished in the 1850-1920 period with outlets in other Countries. They were winning gold medals for pipes in the mid 19th century and producing over 26 million pipes of varied design a year.

Other French firms such as Fiolet of St Omer and Noel Brothers had their versions of Jacob as well as producers in Germany, Belgium, Holland and England; some still being made in the 1950's. Moulds do exist and are occasionally used by collectors to make small batches today. I have created my own version for world famous collections which is the largest known bringing the Jacob pipe into the 21st century! Usually the head band reads "I am the Real Jacob" in French and my limited edition version reads "I am the Dawnmist Jacob".

Sizes of this pipe range from miniatures of about 2cm high to about 8cm high. A number on the side will be the mould/model number which is one of the Jacob range from a maker. These pipes usually have a socket with a cork fitted wood stem and horn or bakelite (early plastic) mouth piece. Sometimes a decorative cord was attached to help hold the pipe segments together. Jacobs were usually press moulded in 3 part metal moulds and the seams neatly trimmed. The colours were "drizzled" on by hand before the pipes were fired.

They were one of the most popular figural clay pipes ever designed and were highly favoured by smokers not only because of the lavish design but because as the clay was smoked it absorbed the juices and the bowl "seasoned" to a rich brown, thus, coloured glazes (because they were opaque) would stand out brightly.

My CD ROM "The Art & Archaeology of Clay Tobacco Pipes" available only through this website contains lots of useful information as well as thousands of photographs of clay pipes dating from about 1580 until the present day. Check out the Dawnmist Shop page to get your copy!

Illustrations of 378 Clay Pipes by Heather Coleman...

The illustrations here drawn by myself can be viewed online through this website and are also available at much higher resolution on my CD. Over 1000 photographs are included on the CD as well as lots more information on the subject.

Note: Since the time these drawings were first put on the www a decade ago the hand-written dates have been refined and some might need double checking if you have older copies. The dates provided below are a guide for the drawings shown with start/end time slots and with some 19th C pipes they are still made today.

  [1] Old Style English Pipes c.1600-1750
  [2] c.1790-1820 Ribs and Leaf designs
  [3] c.1790-1830 Ribs, Dots, Dashes, Leaf designs
  [4] c.1790-1820 Prince of Wales emblem
  [5] c.1790-1820 Prince of Wales emblem and Mixed Designs
  [6] c.1790-1820 Prince of Wales emblem, Abstract Floral designs
  [7] c.1790-1860 Ribs, Dots, Emblems, Floral
  [8] c.1840-1860 Ribs, Scallop, Leaf designs
  [9] c.1840-1860 Ribs, Floral, Emblems, Maritime
  [10] c.1840-1860 Floral, Symbolic, Heads
  [11] c.1860-1960 period, Plain designs
  [12] c.1880-1930 Irish Pipes
  [13] Late 19th Century-1930 RAOB Pipes
  [14] c.1860-1960 Commemorative, Abstract, Floral
  [15] c.1870-1930 Sport themes, Parachute jumps
  [16] c.1870-1930 Commemorative, Advertising
  [17] c.1860-1930 Floral, Abstract designs
  [18] c.1840-1930 Bird Claws
  [19] c.1860-1930 Plant designs
  [20] c.1870-1930 Animals, Hands, Fish
  [21] c.1910-1930 Miniature Pipes 1
  [22] c.1890-1960 Miniature Pipes 2
  [23] c.1860-1910 Heads 1
  [24] c.1880-1910 Heads 2
  [25] c.1880-1930 Large Advertique Pipes
  [26] c.1880-1930 Exotic Head designs 1

A few of the now World famous Dawnmist Studio pipes I made from 2000 onwards. These pipes are occasionally available for sale when time and health allows!

Click here to find out more

Visit the Dawnmist Studio Clay Pipe Hall of Fame!

Click here

From January to March 2016 I was invited to do an exhibition of some of my collection at Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum here in Devon. The exhibition went very well and I was also invited to do a radio interview for BBC Radio Devon as well as a TV feature for BBC Spotlight.

Figural Pipes

French, Dutch and English figural pipes made between about 1860 and 1925. Animals, Birds, Fish, Famous people and various creatures.

Heather has many other interests to share! Take a look and see...

Lots More To Visit in the Main Dawnmist Studio Shop...