Monday, May 15, 2017

Find of the Day - John Legg Clay Pipe

Our find of the day, the first of the 2017 season, is a fragment of clay tobacco pipe. Fortunately, the bulb end is intact and we can easily read the maker's mark "John Legg". With this clue, we consulted the National Pipe Archive and dated the artefact to sometime between 1700 and 1800.
Second year student Tess Kaye made the discovery.
John Legg pipes were produced in the small town of Brosley [Broseley], Shropshire. Coal and clay were the town's primary natural resources exploited during the Industrial Revolution. In the eighteenth century, the pipeworks were one of the largest international exporters of clay pipes in Britain. Today, Broseley Pipeworks form part of a World Heritage Site celebrating this period.
The marker's mark is legible on the flattened base (pedestal).
While some pipes of the eighteenth century were decorated, this is plain apart from milling marks below the bowl.
The dotted pattern along the edge of the bowl was caused by the milling marks.
The broken underside of the pipe with scale.
Second year student, Tess Kaye, had this to say:
"I was just really surprised to discover such an interesting find on the first day. It brightened up the morning!"


References:

The National Pipe Archive (2016) list extracted from: Oswald, A. (1975) "Clay Pipes for the Archaeologist, British" Archaeological Reports, British Series 14, Oxford, 207pp. http://www.pipearchive.co.uk/pdfs/howto/makers/LIVNP_2012_03_02_OSWALD.pdf

Ironbridge Birthplace of Industry (2017) http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/our-attractions/broseley-pipeworks/

Cambridge Archaeology Field Group November (2012) "Evolution of clay tobacco pipes in" England http://www.cafg.net/docs/articles/claypipes.pdf




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