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JEREMY BRETT'S CHURCHWARDEN PIPE


Jeremy Brett’s Churchwarden pipe

Author: Radix Pedis Diaboli - Translator: Revati


The word churchwarden is similar to the presbyter. Churchwardens belong to the earliest forms of pipes and they are still very popular today.

The first long-stem, Elizabethan [Elizabeth I (1533-1603) reigned from 1558] pipes were made of clay, their bowls were thin, so they looked very graceful. These pipes were popular among the upper class, the lower class smoked pipes with shorter stem, and they snapped off the end of the stem to separate themselves.

Piping men, pipeman

During the 16th and 17th centuries smoking was popular among women too. Madame de Pompadour (1721-1764), the mistress of Louis XV (1710-1774) was a passionate smoker.

Madame de Pompadour

The Dutch took over Churchwarden pipes but redesigned them a little bit: they enlarged the bowl and lengthened the stem. They called this new version Alderman. It became popular during the reign of William II (1626-1650), and then under William III (1650-1702). The Alderman was white, graceful and very fragile.

Beautiful painting from that era:

A Peasant holding a Stoneware Jug and a Clay Pipe

A Peasant holding a Stoneware Jug and a Clay Pipe
by David Teniers (1638-1685)


The English liked Alderman pipes but they changed it by adding a curve to the stem what was called the ’Yard of Clay’.

Alderman pipe

Churchwarden pipes became really current in the 1700s and 1800s, when smoking was allowed in churches. Presbyters put their pipe-stem out of the church windows. The aim of the long stem was to allow the smoker to rest his hand and the bowl on the back of church pews. The little knob on the bottom of the bowl prevented the burning of the pews, and when it was necessary, smokers could put down their pipes. Later this little knob still remained on shorter pipes for aesthetic reasons.

The smoke of Churchwarden pipes is especially cool, because it has to travel a long way from the stem to the mouthpiece. Another advantage of these pipes is that the long stem keeps the face of the smoker further away from the heat and the smoke. From the middle of the 1800s pipes were made from wood briar. Nowadays the bowl has several forms.

Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes pipe

Jeremy Brett smoke a Peterson Dublin frequently.

Youtube video: Crime is common, logic is rare…



The citation is from The Adventure of The Copper Beeches:

’You have erred, perhaps’he observed, taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs, and lighting with it the long cherrywood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood – ’you have erred, perhaps, in attempting to put colour and life into each of your statements, instead of confining yourself to the task of placing upon record that severe reasoning from cause to effect which is really the only notable feature about the thing.’

’No, it is not selfishness or conceit’ said he, answering, as was his wont, my thoughts rather than my words. ’If I claim full justice for my art, it is because it is an impersonal thing – a thing beyond myself. Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell. You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales.’

’The end may have been so’ I answered, ’but the methods I hold to have been novel and of interest.’

’Pshaw, my dear fellow, what do the public, the great unobservant public, who could hardly tell a weaver by his tooth or a compositor by his left thumb, care about the finer shades of analysis and deduction! But, indeed, if you are trivial, I cannot blame you, for the days of the great cases are past. Man, or at least, criminal man, has lost all enterprise and originality. As to my own little practice, it seems to be degenerating into an agency for recovering lost lead pencils and giving advice to young ladies from boarding-schools. I think that I have touched bottom at last, however. This note I had this morning marks my zero point, I fancy. Read it!’


Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes pipe

The British Pipesmokers’ Council established ’The Pipe Smokers of the Year’ award in 1964. It was handed over annually to famous smokers. Jeremy Brett was awarded in 1989.

Peterson Sherlock Holmes tobacco: it is made according to a formula from 1880, using Indian Mysore Virginia and Brazilian Burley tobacco. It has a rich aroma, it is sweet and characteristic.

Sherlockian Holmesian

Recommended articles:

The pipes of Sherlock Holmes

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Please keep in mind that smoking is harmful.

" Jeremy Brett's churchwarden pipe "

Author: Radix Pedis Diaboli
Translator: Revati

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