Clay tobacco pipe, stub-stem variety, incomplete, stem missing, modelled as skull, with stem socket coming off from neck at an acute angle, impressed mark of Louis Fiolet, St. Omer, Pas-de-Calais, French, 1845-1900
Modelled as a skull, this clay tobacco pipe was made by Louis Fiolet in St Omer, Pas-de-Calais, France. Fiolet founded his business in 1746 and was known for his ornamental and human-shaped tobacco bowls. Shredded tobacco was packed into the bowl, lit and the vapours inhaled through a wooden or reed stem, which is missing from this example. Tobacco was introduced into France in the late 1550s and like elsewhere was popular for its taste and nicotine boost.