Tobacconist's sign, army officer smoking a pipe

1801-1880 in Europe

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Tobacconist's sign in form of army officer smoking Churchwarden's pipe, possibly French, 1801-1880

Standing outside a tobacconist’s, this carved wooden and painted army officer smoking a pipe would certainly have attracted the attention of potential customers. At a time when the numbering of houses and business premises was often absent, highly distinct shop signs were often the easiest way to locate them. Customers might, in this case, have been directed to ‘the sign of the smoking soldier’.

Churchwarden tobacco pipes are characterised by their long stems and were often made from clay.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Object Number:
shop sign
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sign - promotional or advertising artefact
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • pipe - smoking equipment
  • tobacco pipe
Loan, Wellcome Trust

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