The Tobacco Pipe as a Commemorative Advertisement

Original title: De tabakspijp als Oranjepropaganda

D.H. Duco

Commemorative articles like dishes, plates and tile paintings with decoration of current interest are generally known. The festivities in the House of Orange were reason to start production of these wares for many generations. It is less known that the clay tobacco pipe carried commemorative decorations for over three centuries, objects to underline the sympathy for the House of Orange. Long before the industrialisation, the clay tobacco pipe was already a mass produced article, made in press moulds in series. By engraving the decoration in the mould the decoration could easily be reproduced by thousands. Because of the low price, these pipes quickly found their way to the smoker.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.

The fragility of the clay pipe is the reason why very little of this tradition survived. Archaeological finds were the main source to reconstruct the history of this item. The rich collection of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum includes a lot of these commemorative pipes dedicated to the House of Orange, the oldest dating back to the 1620's. Don Duco, curator of this museum collection, presents the complete history of these pipes, including pieces from the nineteenth and twentieth century. Gifts to members of the House of Orange, now kept in the Royal Archives, complete the story.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 5.
Fig. 6.

The publication De tabakspijp als Oranjepropaganda is a complete and prolific study on the pipe dedicated to the House of Orange. The production and consumption are described in the historical context, which changed every generation. The symbolism, the portraits and the coat of arms are one by one being explained, while the ever changing target group is clarified. The author knows well enough to give the background of the commemorative pipe, so bringing an article as the clay tobacco pipe to life in a very special way.


Publisher: Amsterdam Pipe Museum, Pijpenkabinet Foundation, Amsterdam, 1992

ISBN 90-70849-16-X

144 pages, 24 x 21 cm, softcover

introduction bij H.R.H. Bernhard Prince of the Netherlands

127 photos

Price € 20 (excluding P&P)