The Gouda pipe makers, their marks and ordinances

Original title: Merken en merkenrecht van de pijpenmakers in Gouda

D.H. Duco

As early as the seventeenth century, the pipe making industry in Gouda had acquired a position of international repute, thanks to tight organization and efficient business acumen. For the pipe makers to achieve this position, protecting the maker’s mark was of paramount importance. The regulation of marks did not suddenly come into being; it gradually developed. The aldermen and deacons of the Gouda pipe makers’ guild won the protection of their marks in an unremitting correspondence with the urban, provincial and state authorities.

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Duco has studied records covering a period of three hundred years and in this magnificent book he succeeds in unravelling the complex subject matter and presenting it lucidly. The text makes it possible for anyone with an interest in history to understand the importance of the pipe makers mark and to follow the development of the sense of justice connected with it. A strive of over three centuries of realizing a secure and exclusive ownership of a pipemakers mark. The summary of this historic overview is translated into English.

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A large section of the book consists of a comprehensive list of Gouda pipe marks, complete with clear illustrations, the successive owners and the periods in which they were active. This publication offers archaeologists and historians alike the opportunity not only of dating excavated pipes, but also of personally identifying them, even down to the producer. This book will provide an incentive for the precise identification of virtually all archaeological sites after 1600. Therefore the book is called the Stone of Rosette for clay pipe research.

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Duco’s book The Gouda pipe makers, their marks and ordinances is doubtless his largest and most impressive production. Next to the deep going history the book lists in over 1700 illustrations all the marks of the Gouda Guild including their respective owners and period of use. These datings have been reconstructed with the use of thousands of historic documents, a study in the Gouda archives for over 25 years. Complete with five various registres the book is the ultimate reference works for Gouda pipes and maker's marks in general for the decade to come.


Publisher: Amsterdam Pipe Museum - Pijpenkabinet Foundation, Amsterdam, 2003

ISBN 90-70849-21-6

260 pages, 29 x 29 cm, hardcover, English summary

67 photos, 231 mark vignettes, 1047 pipe marks

Price € 55 (excluding P&P)

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