Clay tobacco pipe, London, England, 1620

1620 in London

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Top left handside, A635162 - Clay tobacco pipe, maker unknown, made in London, 1580-1590. Anti clockwise from left
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Clay tobacco pipe, incomplete, part of stem missing, spur knocked off, missing, thick stem, stub of spur, small squat pronounced forward leaning bowl, line of thin narrow hatched milling, London, 1620

Tobacco became fashionable in England in the 1570s. Clay tobacco pipes were the easiest way to smoke it. They were inexpensive and popular but easily broken. Shredded tobacco would have been placed in the bowl of the pipe and lit, and the smoke inhaled through the mouthpiece. When tobacco was first introduced it was expensive so this meant that pipe bowls were quite small.

Tobacco became more available and cheaper as more and more tobacco plantations were established in the United States. Smokers could soon afford extra tobacco and so the bowls of the pipes became progressively larger. (Pictured here with other clay pipes ranging from 1580-1790).


Object Number:
tobacco pipe
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • pipe - smoking equipment

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