Dating clay tobacco pipes

These early pipes are sometimes referred to as "belly pipes" because of the pot-belly or barrel shape of their bowl. The spur or platform at the bottom of the bowl was hart shape. Towards the end of the seventeenth century the inside diameter of the bowl was about 1/2 inch and the bore diameter of the stem was between 3/32 to 1/8 inch. Generally, the older the pipe, the larger the bore of the stem. One of the most notable designs was Jonah about to be swallowed by a serpent, perhaps depicting King James I who tried diligently to stamp out smoking. 1660 - 1680: There is a noticeable size increase during this period.

There is little doubt that the earliest pipes came from England.

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The stem was fairly short, only measuring 4 to 6 inches.

The spur allowed the pipe to rest upright on a table.

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