Pipefinds with relief decoration

The Dutch clay pipe is pressed in a brass press mould. When an engraving has been made in the pipe mould, it becomes an embossed decoration during moulding. Larger pipe makers produced one or a few relief pipes in addition to their plain pipes. The subjects were taken from historical events: the stadtholders’ marriage or a peace agreement between several states. In other cases the decoration was more general: the coat of arms of the city of Gouda, Dutch provinces or the depiction of Mercury and Neptune.

The craftsmanship of the mould engraver determines the quality of the relief pipe. The very best engravings date between 1735 and 1755, when the silversmiths Dillis and Johannes van Oye were active in Gouda. After 1760, the interest of the consumer in decorated pipes declined, with the result that the artistic level went down as well.

A typical nineteenth century product is the epigram pipe, that doesn’t hold an elaborate engraved decoration, but only a simple text ribbon with an appropriate motto. At that time also so-called farce pipes were made, with a Punch-like portrait on the pipe bowl.

Relief pipes remained in production until the twentieth century. The themes shifted in order to highlight progress such as the steam train and the paddle steamer. For Holland the House of Orange retained its popularity. One of the last examples is the Friesland coat of arms, after the tobacco brand of the same name. Meanwhile, the artistic quality of the relief pipe had declined considerably. By 1900 it became a tradition that hardly appealed to the smoker anymore.

APM 8.978a
APM 24b
APM 132
APM 179
APM 185
APM 197a
APM 218
APM 287
APM 351
APM 615
APM 712
APM 1.393
APM 1.564d
APM 1.894a
APM 2.086
APM 2.368b
APM 2.558b
APM 2.901b
APM 2.999
APM 3.108b
APM 3.191
APM 3.228
APM 3.265
APM 3.359
APM 3.363
APM 3.568
APM 3.633
APM 3.678b
APM 3.693b
APM 3.838
APM 4.105
APM 4.222a
APM 4.857
APM 5.051
APM 8.978a
APM 5.186
APM 5.188a
APM 13.027