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Clay Tobacco Pipe - Ribbed Style

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Artifact Description

The surface of Jacksonville"‘Blue China" shipwreck contained a widely scattered cargo of 63 clay tobacco pipes from which a sample of 16 examples were recovered in two different styles: 13 examples of a ribbed type (also referred to as fluted or cockled) featuring raised vertical lines extending along the bowl. An additional three pipes were recovered embossed with the letters ‘TD’ on the back of the pipe bowl (facing the smoker) and otherwise entirely undecorated. The pipes were produced in different two-part molds and all are made from white clay.

All of the pipes have an integral stem whereby the pipe bowl and long stem were manufactured as a single piece. The examples recovered range from largely intact pipe bowls and stems to a few fragmentary specimens. Several of the pipes are heavily stained by what appears to be iron oxide. Both varieties have peg spurs at the juncture of the bottom of the bowl and stem. Unlike the pointed spike spur, the peg-style has a flat end and is sometimes slightly tapered.  None of the specimens show evidence of having been smoked and for this reason, were likely part of the ship’s cargo. 

The individual examples within the ribbed pipe variety are subtly distinct from each other. Even though they are essentially typologically comparable, several appear to have been produced in two different molds, although probably in the same workshop. Use of multiple molds in a single factory was not uncommon for larger pipe manufacturers. The origins of all the pipes remain uncertain due to the pervasive imitation in production that occurred across Europe and America. They may be exports from the European continent, possibly of Dutch or more likely German manufacture, the latter of whose pipes made a strong appearance in the United States after 1845.




Other Details

L. 18.2-21.4cm