So I used the word 'smoke' even though it is technically incorrect. Cigarettes did not exist of course so all smoking was through a pipe, and the smoke was drunk, sipped or swallowed. Smoking was a word only applied to the tobacco itself when it was alight!
Tobacco was very expensive so pipe bowls were very small, allowing less than an ounce of tobacco. The stem of the pipe was very long and the hole through which you drank very small. You would have had to suck quite hard to get your hit of tobacco.
|Painting by Pieter Claesz 1636|
Clay pipes were very decorative especially those made for women, and I have an example at home which has flowers around the bowl. The pipes were cast from a mould after the original shape was carved from wood or fashioned from clay. The one below from the Museum of London shows a carved sailing ship.
For more examples you can't do better than to visit the website of Heather Coleman, an amateur archaelogist and expert on clay pipes.
This image of a seventeenth century woman with a pipe is from an article about women and smoking by Beth Maxwell Boyle. She has a collection of pipes and smoking related memorabilia on her website
Pipes were also used by children in the age-old fashion even in the 17th century as Michaelina Woutiers' 'Boys Blowing Bubbles' from the 1640s shows us. This painting is in the Seattle Art Museum, and is a wonderful resource for costume detail. Note the shell used for holding the bubble-blowing liquid. Let's hope the boys did not 'drink' the contents!
Are there things in novels you have read that jumped you out of the story? And if you're a writer have you made decisions that were technically incorrect for the benefit of the reader?
And for more about the THE GILDED LILY, a historical adventure set in rich mansions and dark alleys of 17th century London have a look at the trailer.