Lids on pipes of porcelain
When the porcelain pipe was still a real luxury item, many examples were mounted with punched bronze lids, gilded on the outside. Such lids were made in a special factory in Nixdorf and were in use all over Germany. Because gluing of the lid was a big problem in the beginning, a metal retaining strap was applied along the bottom of the heel and stem.
The serial produced silver lid soon came into use. Because a silver clip lock closes more smoothly, these lids could be glued to the porcelain pipe bowl. Standard was the flat silver lid with a slight lens shaped top. The decoration then only focuses on the clamp. An original design shows a curled snake, others a cherub head with wings. When the porcelain pipe bowl became more general, the silver lid was replaced by copies of Neusilber. In reality this is white metal to which some silver has been added. All these covers have the air inlet on the side, with discrete slots or a series of holes. In other cases, it is formed as a beautifully sawn or punched fence.
With figural porcelain pipes, the lid can be a part of the image. If animals or people are depicted, the lid rim is hidden as a collar and the entire head opens. It is an amusing and well-finished element in the pipe bowl.
When porcelain pipes became a common article after 1840, the lid also became a mass article. Factories punch it in a uniform style by large numbers. In addition to countless geometric solutions, one very specific design was created. That is the pickel helmet or Pickelhaube, the Prussian soldier's helmet that is standard on reservist pipes. Again, this is a serial article, but the helmet shape with loose chin strap and regiment emblem still offers an appropriate variety.