Dating clay pipes
There are so many fragments, not just because for more than years they were sold filled and routinely chucked when smoked, but also because the hundreds of pipe-makers working along the foreshore would likely ditch their kiln leftovers or rejects into the Thames.
Diagram showing the most commonly used terminology for different parts of the pipe. Bowl forms can be dated by reference to pipe and local typologies, links to which can be found below.
They can also be used to check any dates provided by associated bowl forms, marks or decoration, which can be especially useful for smaller contexts where only a few such pieces are present. Long line name and place stamps orientated along the top of the stem were used in the North West region during the late eighteenth century.
A fine sandy fabric was used in the Oxford area and pipes from areas with access to the Coal Measures often employed clays with opaque white gritty inclusions in them.
There are also a number of concerns over how reliable any date arrived at actually is.
1790-1820 style Napoleonic Period
A heel is the term used for a flat-based projection underneath the bowl of a pipe, which typically has near dating clay pipes sides, or ones that flare out towards its base. Pieces of pipe-stem are easy to pick up in certain areas, complete bowls less so. Long stems were sometimes rather oval in cross section and could be curved. The fractions of an inch are always given in 64ths, and not rationalised to larger alternative units e.
The guide even includes an illustrated list of the different kinds of mudwhich in its seriousness may be amusing to some! I mean the coins dropped throughout the millennia back to even before there were pockets; the tokens, some just as old, which were used in place of money; the religious badges or emblems which pilgrims could buy; the many and various tools, including weapons, used on or around the Thames foreshore.
On a recent visit to part of Rotherhithe on the opposite side, i. As a result, they are generally rather cylindrical in appearance with less evidence of any stem taper. Early pipes dating from before the English Civil War of the s tend to follow London fashions but the disruption of the war appears to have allowed regional forms to develop.
Clay Pipes c.1600-1720
Nj dating laws top pipe bowl above dates from while the one below is a fairly typical decorated one from For this reason, it is important to look at specific local typologies as pipe as the more general national ones. A heel is usually broader than it is deep, as opposed to a spur, which is the opposite. Local clays with inclusions were rarely used after about Rim milling dies out almost completely after aboutas does the practice of rim bottering.
Spur forms first appear in the very early seventeenth century and soon became an alternative style used in lesser numbers in most areas of the country.
They were also subject to marked regional variation prior to the nineteenth century, so the shape can also be used to identify which part of the pipe a pipe comes from.
In broad terms there were always two different styles of pipe in contemporary use; those with heels and those with spurs. Stems were straight until the late eighteenth century when curved varieties were introduced.
These regional fashions continued until the mid-nineteenth century when improved transport networks allowed pipes to be traded over much larger areas, diluting local fashions. Heel forms were the earliest style to be introduced in the late dating subotica century and remained the dominant form in most areas for at least the next century.
Moulded marks or dating numbers on the sides of the stem were introduced around the middle of the nineteenth century and became the most widespread and common form of marking thereafter.
The most common method is to use the butt ends of a set of Imperial drill bits, although a finely gradated ruler or pipe measuring devices can also be used. As an illustration of this, the photo above is what I was lucky enough to notice on a recent visit to my local stretch of Deptford foreshore, and below is what it turned out to be.
Regional dating in sydney blog becomes less marked and similar forms were used for long-stemmed pipes across the country. Initials or full name marks placed across the top of the dating clay were most frequently employed in central southern England and the West Midlands, while decorative stem borders were most often employed in the Midlands and north.
Seventeenth century bowls tend to tip forward slightly and dating rebound quite thick walls. Stem stamps are only rarely found. Stem bores can, however, be used for distributional plots or as bar graphs to show changing site use over time. Burnishing was used for better qualities of pipes and almost without exception pipes had bottered rims i. Regional variation continues to be quite marked with burnishing persisting in some regions but not others.
a maker, a teacher of making
The general and regional typologies produced by Oswald suffer from the poor quality of the form drawings, although the underlying dating is still sound. Stamped marks, now typically orientated along the stem, continued to be used in the West Midlands and North West but died out in other areas in favour of moulded marks.
There was also a move towards larger manufactories producing a wide range of different shaped pipes which do not follow the earlier typological progression and are more difficult to place into a simple type series.