Posts Tagged ‘smoking’

A clay pipe

July 12, 2013

These days smoking is regarded as a self destructive and antisocial habit but it wasn’t always so. Until fairly recently smoking was considered normal amongst men and many thought it beneficial to health. Of course, we now know that was a mistaken belief but relics of smoking are often found and we have several at Market Lavington Museum.

Clay pipes were very common items. There will be few local gardeners who have not turned up lengths of stem as they have worked their plots. Indeed, a few days ago a length of stem was left just outside the museum. Someone had found it and deemed it interesting enough to leave for us. If that person could identify where it was found, it would be more interesting to us.

This length, complete with broken bowl, was found in 1990 and given to the museum.

Clay pipe with bowl found at Palm Hose, market Lavington,

Clay pipe with bowl found at Palm Hose, market Lavington,

We think this one dates from about 1865 – certainly between 1850 and 1880. It was found in a wall crevice at Palm House on High Street, Market Lavington.

More recently, other pipes were found in a wall crevice at 13 High Street which was once the home of Alf Burgess, the photographer. You can click here to read about one of those pipes.

We wonder if the presence of old clay pipes in walls is just chance or whether they were placed in walls for some ritual or superstitious reason.

Any thoughts?

A cigar holder

May 2, 2013

At Market Lavington Museum we have no love for smoking but we can accept it is, sadly, an addictive habit and one that many people, in the past, took up. Once started, they found themselves unable to give up the habit, even had they wanted to.

We certainly do not favour the slaughter of elephants for ivory either but here we have an item of smoking history that is, in part, made of ivory.

It is a cigar holder, presented in a neat case which looks like a very miniature violin case.

Miniature case at Market Lavington Museum

Miniature case at Market Lavington Museum

Here we see the holder. The non-ivory part of this cigar holder is made of amber.

Amber and ivory cigar holder which once belonged to Norman Neate of Market Lavington

Amber and ivory cigar holder which once belonged to Norman Neate of Market Lavington

This little item – some 8cm long, dates from about 1900 and it belonged to Norman Neate who was the last commercial brewer in Market Lavington, selling his produce at a pub called The Brewery Tap on White Street.

You can see this item in our entrance room at the museum, displayed for the first time in many a year.