Decorative 16″ Colonial Tavern Pipe
We recently acquired a handful of decorative 16″ colonial tavern pipes that we believe we produced more than twenty years ago and quite possibly decades ago. All of the pipes appear to be unused and we now know that clay inside the long stem blocks the airshaft so the pipes are only decorative and not usable for smoking.
Colonial America of the 18th century saw a huge number of clay pipes and pipe styles. Early settlers loved smoking tobacco and utilized a wide variety of pipes to accommodate their new hobby. The colonial clay tavern pipe became one of the most popular models of smoking pipes in the colonies. According to legend when colonists stopped by the local Public House or tavern long-stemmed clay pipes awaited them along with tankards of ale. Rather than bring a mug and pipe along to the bar, patrons chose to rely on the tavern owner’s hospitality and used the mugs and pipes available in the pub. When the first smoker was done smoking a bowl he would break an inch or so off the long stem and a fresh pipe awaited the next patron.
At home, a pipe smoker relied on a smaller 6-inch colonial clay pipe as a personal version of the long pipe. Old Dominion makes a small colonial clay pipe – the Old Dominion Williamsburg. Alternatively, the Dutch Gouda-style pipe was commonly used in the New Amsterdam colony in Manhattan and along the Hudson River in what is now New York State.