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The following article is an aynalysis by Dr J Pavey of the above clay pipe found on the Salcombe Cannon Site. (Select the image above to see the pipe in 3D)

 "Dr. P.J. Davey  - School of Archaeology, Classics and Oriental Studies, University of Liverpool [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

 In August 1999 members of the South-West Maritime Archaeology Group recovered a clay tobacco pipe from the site of a designated wreck off Salcombe in Devon.   



The pipe is 130mm long, the bowl is 29mm high and the stem between 10mm and 14mm thick. The stem bore is 6/64". A small fragment is missing from the rim of the bowl and part of the mouthpiece end of the stem is also lost. The fabric is off-white and fine-grained with few inclusions. The pipe was made in a two-part mould and is elaborately decorated throughout its surviving length. Sooting within the bowl and absorption of nicotine and tars in the body of both bowl and stem suggests that the pipe had been smoked a number of times before its breakage or loss (Fig 1).

 The general type

The pipe belongs in general character to a group known as Baroque, originally considered by Dutch scholars to be English in origin, in that some examples appeared to represent the head of Elizabeth 1 (Friederich 1975, 38-40). More recent studies of 17th-century pipes have shown them to be of Dutch origin and have identified four sub-types:-

            Baroque Type 1 consists of small, ornate bowls and stems with finely executed floral designs in low relief. The whole surface area of both bowl and stem is mould decorated. The flat heel is often further decorated with a rose stamp (Fig 2, Nos 1-2; Duco 1987, 88-90, Figs 464-468).

           Baroque Type 2 is similar in form, though more obviously Dutch, in that the front of the bowl slopes more sharply backwards than contemporary plain English examples. The bowl is slightly larger, but is much less highly decorated than Type 1 (Fig 2, Nos 3-4; ibid., 89-91, Figs 469-472).  

            Baroque Type 3 is a small, heelless, group with similar bowl forms to Type 2 supported on a floral array, so that the bowls appears to be enfolded by a cup around the lower half. The exposed areas of the bowl are generally much more plain than in Types 1 and 2 (Fig 2, Nos 5-7; ibid., 91, 95, Figs 490-492).

            Baroque Type 4, possibly the most common, consists of the head of a man in the process of being consumed by the jaws of a toothed creature, with a long scaled body. The general consensus is that this type represents Jonah being consumed by the whale. The Hebrew word that is translated into the English Authorized Version as "whale" is rendered in most other languages as something like "sea monster". It is not possible to ascertain what species of creature was actually meant. The jaws that appear to be swallowing the head are long, straight and well toothed - something akin to a crocodile or alligator (Fig 2, Nos 8-9; ibid., 91-94, Figs 473-489).

Almost complete Type 2 and Type 4 pipes illustrated by Goes suggest that the Salcombe find was originally about twice its present length, with the missing section largely undecorated (Goes 1993, 20). 

The Salcombe pipe

Whilst it is clear that the Salcombe wreck find is a baroque pipe, it is less easy to find precise parallels or to decide exactly where it fits in the series. At first glace, given the lack of heel and the relatively plain bowl, the pipe is an example of Baroque Type 3. Further examination, however, suggests links with both Types 2 and 4. The high relief of the stem decoration is very close to a Type 2 pipe illustrated by Duco (Fig 2, No 3; ibid., 89, Fig 469) and unlike Type 3 examples (Fig 2, Nos 5-7; ibid, 95, Fig 492). The design, containing a large four-petalled flower set across the mould seam together with smaller floral elements on the sides, is very close to the Salcombe find, as is the ribbed collar next to the bowl junction. On the Type 2 example, however, the second collar lacks ribs. On the Salcombe pipe the collar towards the mouthpiece end of the stem is not only ribbed, but each horizontal element contains seven or eight very small pellets, a feature not paralleled in other Baroque pipes.

The moulded design that lies between the floral cup containing the bowl and the first ribbed collar is strongly reminiscent of the jaws of the sea monster that is the defining characteristic of Baroque Type 4. The Salcombe form of this design element is more curviform and less specific than for a normal Jonah-pipe and, again, is unique to this example. It is worth noting that a number of Type 2 pipes make even clearer reference to the Jonah series, in that both jaws and scaled body are unequivocally present (Fig 2, No 4; ibid., 89, Figs 470-471) and a number of Jonah-pipes have ribbed collars (Fig 2, No 8; ibid., 92, Figs 476-8). The upper part of the Salcombe bowl is also decorated much in the manner of Type 2 pipes (Fig 2, No 4). Thus, there would appear to be both a stylistic and chronological overlap between Types 2, 3 and 4, which is reflected in the compound of design elements exhibited by the Salcombe pipe.

In summary, the Salcombe pipe is an extremely finely executed example of a Baroque Type 3 pipe that also exhibits a number of rare or unique features.


The dating of the Baroque pipes depends on a number of elements - internal, archaeological and typological. One Baroque Type I pipe has the portraits of the Amsterdam Stadholder Frederick Hendrik and his wife Amalia van Solms on either side of the bowl, dating it to 1624-26 (Fig 2, No 1; ibid., 89-90. Fig 467). Another example with a crowned rose heel stamp is dated 1632 (Fig 2, No 2; ibid., 89, Fig 464). The date range appears to be c 1625-35.   Atkinson, on archaeological grounds, dated the separation of the English and Dutch typologies, represented by the development between Baroque Types 1 and 2, at around 1630 (Atkinson 1972, 176). Before that date, as for example with Baroque Type 1, Dutch and English bowl forms are very similar. There is no independent dating for Type 3 pipes. Atkinson illustrates a very similar form, without the decorative element and dates it to around 1635 (ibid., Fig 78, No 5). Although a Baroque Type 4 pipe in Bristol Museum is dated as early as 1633, the design clearly continues until quite late in the century (Duco 1987, 91-94, Figs 473-489).

The Salcombe pipe should, therefore, belong to the period 1635 to 1645.

Associated finds

Other finds so far recovered from the wreck include Portuguese, Dutch and German pottery of the period 1580-1650, three pewter spoons dating from 1580-1630, a Friesland copper coin of 1627 and a group of over 400 Moroccan gold coins dominated by the rulers Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603) and his son Zaydan (1608-27). The two latest coins belong to the ruler al-Walid (1631-6); one is of the first year of his reign, in the other the final digit is missing (cf Porter forthcoming). This associated assemblage confirms the dating of the Baroque claypipe suggested above that was arrived at purely on grounds of pipe typlogy and design.


Although the main centre associated with the Baroque pipes is Amsterdam (de Haan and Krook 1988, 37, Nos 139-40; Duco 1987, 88-95), an example, possibly a local find and dated 1633, has been recovered in Maastricht (Englelen 1988, 132, Fig 75). Duco also notes examples bearing a Gouda heel-stamp (ibid, 89, No 469). Leiden pipe-makers produced elaborately mould-decorated forms, but of a rather later type that is less ornate (van de Meulen and Tupan 1980, 45-47). Duco suggests that the earliest forms may have been produced in Amsterdam or Gouda or in both centres (Duco 1987, 91); he is unable to suggest a specific source for the Baroque 3 types that are closest to the Salcombe find (Duco 1981, 460, Nos 151-154; 1987, 95). 

Distribution in British Isles

Dutch pipes are not common in the British Isles and Baroque examples are rare everywhere. Oswald illustrates a Type 3 example in the Guildhall Museum, London that, along with one in the Atkinson Collection, may be a local find (Oswald 1975, 116-118, Fig 22, No 8). A stray Type 3 example with a much more plain bowl that the Salcombe pipe was recovered from topsoil in excavations in Smith’s Townland, St Mary’s City, Maryland (Riordan 1991, 96, Fig 7a). Type 4 pipes, though rather more common (eg Oswald 1975, Fig 23), are nevertheless vey occasional finds. Detailed Regional studies in England have failed to locate any certainly provenanced Type 3 pipes. A number of stem fragments that probably belonged to Baroque pipes have been recovered in Plymouth; one has a swollen ribbed section like the Salcombe pipe (Oswald 1969, 139, Fig 58, No 74, top right); no actual bowls were found. A study of substantial groups of pipes from London and the south-east of England (Le Cheminant 1981) records one Type 4 in the P J Elkins Collection (Le Cheminant 1981, 162-3, Fig 20, No 18), Higgins found none in Surrey (Higgins 1981), whilst in the considerable collections of the Grosvenor Museum in Chester only a single Type 1 example was recorded (From Crook Street in 1951; Davey and Rutter 1980, 130-132, Fig 50, No 1). Even in Scotland, where Dutch pipes are much more common than in England (Davey 1992), only two finds from Aberdeen are of this general type. Neither is a good parallel for the Salcombe find. A simple mould-decorated bowl has a normal flat heel and no floral cup supporting the bowl (Davey 1982, 217, No 208) while a stem fragment has the same ribbed section and some of the floral elements, but again possesses a normal flat heel (ibid, 219, No 220). Outside the two possible London finds there are no published Type 3 examples from the British Isles.


The Salcombe find is a Dutch Baroque Type 3 pipe of unusually high quality, exhibiting a variety of unique decorative elements and dating from 1635 to 1645. Although probably of Amsterdam or Gouda manufacture, it may have emanated from one of a number of early minor centres in the Netherlands. Given the absence of such pipes in England and Scotland and the unique detail displayed in this object, it would seem most likely to have been a personal possession purchased in Holland by one of the passengers or crew. There is no evidence that pipes of this type were ever traded to Britain and the Salcombe example may never have ended up in this country had the ship carrying it not been wrecked off the Devon coast.


Atkinson D R 1972 'A brief guide for the identification of Dutch clay tobacco pipes found in England', Post-Medieval Archaeol, 6, 175-182.

 Davey P J 1982 'The clay pipes' in: Murray J C (ed) Excavations in the medieval burgh of Aberdeen 1973-81, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph Series, 2, 216-223.

 Davey P J 1992 'Dutch clay tobacco pipes from Scotland’ in: Gaimster D and Redknap M (eds) Everyday and exotic pottery from Europe, Oxbow Books, 279-289.

 Duco D H 1981 'De kleipijp in de zeventiende eeuwse Nederlanden', The Archaeology of the Clay Tobacco Pipe, V, British Archaeological Reports, British Series 106, 111-468.

 Duco D H 1987 De Nederlandse kleipijp: handbok voor dateren en determineren, Pijpenkabinet, Leiden.

 Engelen J P A M 1988 'Maastricht' in: Tymstra and van der Meulen, 123-134.

 Friederich F H W 1975 Pijpelogie: vorm, versiering en datering van de Hollandse kleipjp, Archeologische Werkgemeenschap voor Nederland, Voorburg.

 Goes B 1993 25 eeuwen roken de verwonderlijke vormgeving van de pijp, Pijpenkabinet, Leiden.

 Haan R de and Krook W 1988 'Amsterdam' in: Tymstra and van der Meulen, 16-38.

 Higgins D A H 1981 ‘Surrey clay tobacco pipes’, The Archaeology of the Clay Tobacco Pipe, VI, British Archaeological Reports, British Series No 97, 189-293.

 Le Cheminant R 1981 ‘Clay tobacco pipes from London and the South East’, The Archaeology of the Clay Tobacco Pipe, VI, British Archaeological Reports, British Series, No 97, 127-172.

 Meulen J van de and Tupan H 1980 De Leidse tabakspijpmakers in de 17e en 18e eeuw, Stubeg, Hoogezand.

 Oswald A 1969 'Marked clay pipes from Plymouth, Devon', Post-Medieval Archaeol, 3, 122-42.

 Oswald A 1975 Clay Pipes for the Archaeologist, British Archaeological Reports 14, Oxford.

 Rutter J A and Davey P J 1980 ‘Clay pipes from Chester’, The Archaeology of the Clay Tobacco Pipe, III, British Archaeological Reports, British Series No 78, 41-272.

 Tymstra F and van der Meulen J 1988 De kleipijp als bodemvondst, Pijpelogische Kring Nederland, Leiden.


The writer is very grateful to Michael Williams of the South West Maritime Archaeology Group and to Martin Dean of the Archaeological Diving Unit of the University of St Andrews for making it possible for me to study this exceptional find. "