Clay tobacco pipe makers’ marks from London

Clay tobacco pipe makers’ marks from London

Clay tobacco pipes were an important part of everyday London life from the end of the 16th century onwards, surviving in considerable quantities from archaeological excavations. Many pipemakers marked their products with their personal initials or symbols, some of which can be identified with documented individuals working in London.

This site is part of a major project being undertaken by MoLAS to create a physical and digital database of clay pipe makers’ marks from London excavations, including both pipes made in the capital and imported from further afield. The first stage of this project focuses on stamped makers’ marks dating to between c 1580 and 1710.

Visit the new microsite on clay tobacco pipes at:


  1. Jere"my Herrtage says:

    I am trying to track down who may have made a pipe that I recovered a stem of at the school where I work. the stem part is the last inch or so just before the bowl and has markings – the most prominent of which is the word “LONDON” in a rectangular arrow pointing towards the bowl end and on the other side, a rather less decipherable imprint which looks like “POPP” – the last letter may be “R”.

    Any ideas who may have made it and when?

    The girls at my school would be fascinated to find out!


    Jeremy Herrtage
    St Ives School

    • Jack says:

      That’s requires an expert, and I’m far from an expert. Your best bet may be to either find a pipe group that specializes in clay pipes, or an archeologist who does the same. Try mailing the museum as well, and they may be able to put in you in contact with the right people.

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