Once upon a time, one could find a pipe perched between the lips, or nestled in the hand, of the majority of men and perhaps some women, too! Pipe smoking was introduced in 1585 by Sir Walter Raleigh and that stimulant called tobacco became quite popular. However, if one wanted a smooth and even draw of smoke, a pipe tamper was required to push, or “tamp,” the tobacco down into ones pipe bowl.
These tampers were small, as they needed to be portable, and made from a variety of materials… bronze, silver, brass, iron, wood, ivory, glass and more. Some were plain and strictly functional but many were fun and decorative with some serving multiple purposes, like a tamper on one end, and a wax seal on the other as part of a finger ring. I just happen to have an example of the latter!
The faith, hope and love wax seal necklace charm was hand cast from a pipe tamper wax seal ring that dates back to the Georgian era (1714 – 1830).
What a wonderful piece of history… impressed by history!
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