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5. Small Dutch pipe with clear milkmaid
5. Clear milkmaid on heel

Above: this small funnel-shaped pipe bowl has a milkmaid on the bottom of its heel. While the milkmaid mark was popular from the late 17th until the early 20th century, this pipe has been dated to the period from 1690-1710/1720, and was made in Gouda by either:

- Jan Willemsz van Bruggen or his widow in the period 1690-1697  

- Hendrick Jansz IJserman or his widow 1696-1716

- or Cornelis van Leeuwen who was working between 1716-1743

4. Dutch pipe with milkmaid on heel
4. Milkmaid on heel

Above: the heelmark of this small clay pipe bowl initially appears to be a heavily-laden milkmaid, but is actually a milkmaid's yoke with a crown above it. This identifies the pipe as made in Gouda by Jan Cornelisz van Geneve, in the brief period of 1709-1711.

8. Dutch clay pipe with RB and crown on heel
8. Milling on stem
8. Heel with RB and crown

Left and above: this large clay pipe has the letters RB with a crown on the heel, and decorative milling around the stem. The stem is about 12cm long; originally it would have been about 20cm. It dates from the period 1690-1720; the letters RB are fairly rare and were only in use between 1691-1727/1732 by the Baers/Baars family of Gouda, either:

- Raes Simonsz Baers, working in the period 1691-1710

- Jan Rase Baers 1711-1722

- or Simon Baars 1722-1727/1732

6. Dutch pipe with VLS on heel
6. VLS on heel

Above: this small funnel-shaped clay pipe bowl has the heel mark IVS, dating it to 1715-1730. This mark was used for a very short period - initially in 1696 (too early for this pipe,) then later in Gouda in the period 1726-1728/1735 by Daniel van Schouwen. This bowl type wasn't made after 1730/1735.

1. Clay pipe bowl with L and crown on heel
1. Heel with L and crown

Above: this large oval-shaped pipe bowl has the heel mark of a crowned L. On the side of the heel is the shield of the city of Gouda, with its six stars. Gouda pipe makers were granted the right to add the Gouda shield on the side of the heel in 1739 on their best quality (usually long) pipes. In 1740 they started to mark their second-best quality pipes with the letter 'S' above the Gouda shield on the side of the heel (see examples below).

Pipes like this with the crowned L were exported to England mainly by the De Licht and Verzijl families. This pipe appears to have been made in the period 1739-1770/1780 by one of the following Gouda pipe makers who owned this mark in this period:

Cornelis de Licht 1730-1745; Jacob de Licht 1745-1753, Frans Verzijl 1753-1774 or Barend Verzijl 1774-1781.

Heelmark windmill - right side
Heelmark windmill - bowl right side
9. Gouda shield on left of heel
9. Windmill on heel

Above: this large oval-shaped clay pipe has a windmill on the heel, and the shield of the city of Gouda on the side of the heel. There is also some lettering on the stem at the point where it is broken, which reads 'I DANENS / IN GOUDA'. This is the Danens family of pipemakers from Gouda, who owned the windmill mark between 1696 and 1787.  All these features date this particular pipe to the period 1739-1770/1780, made either by Jacob Arijsz Danens who worked in the period 1722-1759, or his son Jan Arijsz Danens, working 1759-1778. This was the best quality pipe you could get in Gouda in the 18th century, and these pipes were exported worldwide in enormous quantities.

10. Dutch pipe bowl with Gouda shield on heel
10. Heel with Gouda stars
10. S and shield on side of heel

Above: this large badly damaged pipe bowl has the shield of the city of Gouda still clearly intact on the bottom of the heel, as well as on the side of the heel, together with the letter S - the 'S' denotes that it is the second best quality made in Gouda. This pipe can be dated to the period 1750-1780.

This maker's mark had several owners within this period; pipes with this heel mark were mainly exported by the Amsterdam pipe merchant Dirck Entvogel (one of the most important pipe traders in the capital) and after his death Jacob van der Werff. Usually these pipes had the name of the pipe trader and not that of the pipe maker. His pipes were so popular that they were imitated in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn and exported from there worldwide as well.

2. Dutch pipe with 21 and crown
2. Heel with 21 and crown

Above: this large oval-shaped pipe bowl has the number 21 with a crown on the heel. On the side of the heel is the shield of the city of Gouda with the letter S, again denoting that it was second best quality made in Gouda. The crowned 21 mark was used until 1769; after that, the mark was vacant until 1814. This pipe dates from circa 1800-1830, made in Gouda by either Jan Hageman Jzn, working in the years 1814-1827, or Simon Smient (1829-1841).

3. Dutch pipe with GN and crown
3. Heel w. GN and crown
3. On side of heel with GN and crown

Above: this large oval-shaped pipe bowl has the letters GN with a crown on the heel. On the side of the heel is the shield of the city of Gouda with the letter S (denoting second-best quality). The GN mark was used between 1768 and 1902, but this pipe is from the period 1840-1870, and made either by the Gouda pipe maker Adrianus Fransz Sparnaaij (working 1814-1859) or Frans Simon Sparnaaij (working 1859-1880).

Germander Speedwell 

The following were all found by Germander Speedwell on the Thames foreshore. Dutch pipes are much more identifiable than British ones, thanks to their regulated system of maker's marks. While some of these pipes may have ended up in the Thames when discarded by Dutch ships or sailors, they may also have been purchased in London, as Dutch pipes were also widely imported abroad. Many thanks to Bert van der Lingen for identifying all the pipes below.

Dutch clay pipes

Clay pipe - Dutch armorial - in hand, left.jpg
Clay pipe - Dutch armorial - back_edited
Clay pipe - Dutch armorial - front_edite
Clay pipe - Bert's metre-long armorial_e

Above: this extra-large pipe bowl comes from a pipe that would originally have been a metre long - the photo on the right shows a complete one!

It depicts the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hanover, with the shield of Gouda on the back, and has been identified as made in Gouda c. 1840-1880, either by Johannes Maartensz van Zutphen or Pieter Goedewaagen.

If you have found any Dutch clay pipe bowls in London or the Thames, I can put you in touch with Dutch pipe expert Bert who is researching Dutch pipes that ended up in London and can identify your finds.  Email me at with some clear photos of the pipe/s, including the heelmark and any marks on the sides of the heel. 

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