Fancy pipe bowl

A great find here from the foreshore in central London. This clay pipe bowl but is surprisingly heavy with what looks like a lead rim running around the bowl edge. Clay pipe manufacture was once a way for the poor to generate money working from home. The soft clay was rolled out into a sausage and pressed between 2 moulds. The skill was to push a thin wire along the length of the stem to make a channel for the smoke, without piercing the side. Look for the manufacturers mark at the bottom of the bowl where the rest is.

Unfortunately pipe bowls are becoming harder to find on the foreshore as more and more are removed – some being sold for personal gain. We recommend, hard as it is, that you remove nothing from the foreshore and instead come away with knowledge and experience.

All artefacts of historical interest should be reported to the Finds Liaison Officer at Museum of London: email swyatt@museumoflondon.org.uk

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