Scientific and technical illustrations have always fascinated me. Especially drawings of biological specimen and of archaeological finds that show such great detail and thereby the dedication of the illustrator. Good drawings are also a bit schematic instead of photographic, which aids in giving insight into the construction and usage of an object. Making such drawings of finds therefore forces you to inspect the object carefully and think about its construction and usage. I wanted to teach myself finds illustrating because it would help me to understand the drawing process and the finds, but mostly because I love those illustrations and drawing is fun to do.

For each pipe I started by tracing the outline with pencil on paper at scale 1:1. The finished pencil drawings where scanned with a flatbed scanner and then the tracing or inking was done 'on top of' the digital image. For this digital 'inking' I used Inkscape, which is a free alternative for Illustrator. During the digital drawing process I needed to print the intermediate results in order to see what it would look like on paper in the intended resolution, because the screen resolution and contrast is much lower. The SVG files produced in Inkscape where exported to 600dpi and further reduced with Gimp (a free alternative to Photoshop) to PNG files at 150dpi using linear interpolation. Inkscape probably uses the lancsoz interpolation, but with that the fine stippling almost completely vanished. Since 100ppi is an approximate 'standard' screen resolution nowadays (2012) a 75% reduction is done on the browser (via html size attribute).

The finds used for this study are all picked up from the ground in public parks in or near Gouda and are part of my collection. In the next sections I describe the three pipe bowls that I have drawn. Each sections start with a short description of the bowl and then the details about the drawing of it.

Ribbed pipe PB464

Although the mark is not complete it can easily be identified to be the 'molen'. Dates for this mark can be found in [Duco2003] but that gives a very wide range from 1667 to 1902. The bowl shape and the fact that is has so-called ribs or 'lobben' suggest that it is from the second half of the eighteenth century, but that's roughly by comparing to other ribbed pipes The decoration is simpler than those other ribbed pipes, because the ridges in between the ribs terminate at the top in a simple dot, or sphere while those others have more elaborate floral motifs. Maybe it is an early one if 'simpler' predates 'complex'. Also, I found a fragment of the same model but with a different mark ('haan'), which can be seen here.


The convention for clay pipes illustrating is to draw the pipe itself in 1:1 but the small mark is better shown using twice live size (1:2). I used stippling to help suggesting the shape of the ribs. Because the pipe surface is not as smooth as with burnished pipes, stippling gives a good representation of the surface. As a result of this choice I needed to do the shading on the other pipes with stippling as well to keep it all consistent.

Relief pipe PB120

The relief is looking weathered especially the top 'crown' part and the left side. The relief mark or 'zijmerk' is clearly 'druiventros' for which [Duco2003] has dating 1663-1799. Again the bowl shape is more indicative and suggests the first quarter of the eighteenth century. The same pipe is drawn in [Duco1987] as nr.536, and that one shows more detail at the crown.


Photographs did not show much detail and the fragment was rotated in sheering light for inspection while drawing the details. After inspecting and evaluating the pencil drawing I decided to use the photographs to place the dots of the 'grapes' more accurately.

Fancy pipe PB414

Possibly depicting Erasmus, and might be produced for a remembrance year. This pipe is also depicted as nr.656 in [Duco1987] as one of the 'gezichtspijpen'.


At first I was tempted to draw on the photographs, but I used the scanned pencil drawings instead. The challenge with this pipe was the depiction of the draping of the robe. I kept on changing my mind and I really had to force myself to stop drawing and 'declare it' to be finished.


De Nederlandse kleipijp; handboek voor dateren en determineren, D.H. Duco, Stichting Pijpenkabinet, Amsterdam 1987 ISBN 90-70849-13-5
Merken en merkenrecht van de pijpenmakers in Gouda, D.H. Duco, Stichting Pijpenkabinet, Amsterdam 2003, ISBN 90-70849-21-6