2009 | 57 | 2 | 229-242
Article title

ON CLAY SMOKING-PIPES IN THE POLISH-LITHUANIAN COMMONWEALTH (O glinianych fajkach zlozonych (lulkach) na ziemiach polskich (XVII-XIX w.))

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The custom of smoking tobacco in pipes was accepted in Poland later than that of taking snuff or chewing tobacco leaves. In Western Europe pipes came into common use during the Thirty Years War. In Poland, according to an account from 1671, they were not popular yet, and were used mainly by soldiers and artisans. In the 18th c., however, pipes were already very popular throughout society, including its elite. Both pipes and snuff were commonly used until cigarettes appeared in the second half of the 19th c. Smokers in old Poland used various kinds of pipes, either consisting of one piece or of three pieces; the latter type was called lulka. In thee-part pipes the three pieces (the bowl, the stem and the mouthpiece) were made separately, usually of different materials. Bowls were usually made of clay, stems - of wood and mouthpieces - of horn. Some pipes were additionally equipped with a string to be hanged on. Poles mostly used three-part clay pipes manufactured in Poland or imported from Bulgaria or Turkey. Short-stem pipes were more handy and could be used while working or travelling; they were also easy to store. Smoking tobacco in long-stem pipes required not only assistance in lighting but also leisure to enjoy it to the full. Therefore long-stem pipes were mostly an attribute of the rich and an object of luxury. Burghers, soldiers and the poor used simple short-stem pipes. Pipe bowls increased as the production of tobacco grew and its price fell. An analysis of pipes in terms of origin, construction and production technology can provide data on the directions of cultural influence and trade links in old Poland, as well as on the popularization of certain smoking routines. Issues connected with three-part clay pipes - their construction, production or origin - have been tackled only marginally in some Polish publications. No attention has been devoted to terminology, which is used imprecisely in the Polish literature of the subject.Most Polish terms referring to smoking accessories (lulka, cybuch, antypka, kapciuch, stambulka) have Oriental etymology. This might suggest that Eastern models had a decisive influence on accepting pipes in Poland. On the other hand, terms such as fajka, munsztuk and pipka point to the Western origin of the phenomenon. The origin of clay pipes is usually difficult to establish. Most specimen are not marked and have no ornaments that could be helpful in dating. Only Turkish pipes, which have a characteristic shape and are sometimes marked with the producer's sign, are easier to identify. Between the 17th and 19th c. three-part pipes were probably manufactured in twelve places in the Commonwealth: Alwernia, Biecz, Brzozow, Gdansk, Gliniany, Glinsk, Mrzyglod, Rabka, Staszów, Vilnius and Warsaw. This has been confirmed by numerous finds of pipes in the town of Biecz and the remains of pottery workshops discovered in Warsaw and Vilnius. With only spoken evidence available, it is difficult to be sure about the production of pipes in Gdansk. The existence of a workshop in Staszów is confirmed by signed pipe bowls found in various archaeological sites, e.g. in Tykocin and Warsaw. Pipes and their fragments have been found in various Ukrainian towns, e.g. in Zolkiew and Kiev, which confirms that their manufacture was undertaken in the 19th c in Glinsk. To confirm the production of clay pipes in the remaining places mentioned, as well as in towns missing from the above list, it is necessary to undertake historical and archaeological research which could supply data on the development of pipe-making craft in a given area.
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  • Magdalena Bis, Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii PAN, Al. Solidarnosci 105, 00-140 Warszawa, Poland
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