Dating clay tobacco pipes
By 1558 tobacco smoking had been introduced to Europe. There is little doubt that the earliest pipes came from England. The basic form of the pipe has changed little over the long history of pipe smoking, however there have been notable variations in pipe styles effecting the size of the bowl and the length of the stem. Many of these variations were the result of fashion, but many were the result of the growing skills of pipe makers. 1660 - 1680: One such variation was the West Country style pipe that featured a curved bowl that lost much of its "barrel" look. This was the first long-bowl pipe that would gain in popularity through the end of the century. The stem was fairly short, only measuring 4 to 6 inches. The spur allowed the pipe to rest upright on a table.