Pipestem dating archaeology
1660 - 1680: There is a noticeable size increase during this period. After 1640 pipe styles remain basically the same with some regional variations in England. Decorations were stamped, incised by hand, or molded in relief on both bowl and 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. 1700 - 1770: One of the most striking features of pipe development during this period is that the top of the bowl became parallel with the stem. During the mid eighteenth century, extra-long pipe stems became fashionable, measuring between 18 and 24 inches in length with a stem bore averaging 3/32 inchs. The spur allowed the pipe to rest upright on a table. 1610 - 1640: This period saw the development of a flat base and a true spur upon which to rest the pipe.
The idea of smoking tobacco came from the American Indian, who had long fashioned their own clay pipes.
Many of these variations were the result of fashion, but many were the result of the growing skills of pipe makers.
The size of the bowl was often effected by the cost and availability of tobacco.
Generally, the older the pipe, the larger the bore of the stem.
Most stems were straight, but some tended to curve either up or down. For those who enjoy collecting clay trade pipes, we have added additional notes about maker's marks and stem stamping based on the work of Robert F.