Home Boxing News Clay Pipes Be Aware of dubious sellers

Clay Pipes Be Aware of dubious sellers

Beware some big money has been paid for so called original pipes,but they were still being manafactured up to only a few years ago.


Boxing is well recorded on clay pipes,and many of them can actually be attributed to particular pugilist or fights throughout the second part of the nineteenth century.


The first fight to be depicted commemorates the first International Championship ever staged,the great bare-fist fight between John Camel Heenan of the USA and Tom Sayersof the United Kingdom.The fight took place at Farnborough in Hampshire on the 17th April 1860.The contest was declared a draw after forty two rounds,lasting two hours and twenty minutes.One pipe has a boxer in the ring depicted on each side of the bowl with the name J,C,Heenan and T,Sayers respectively above.Another pipe ,given the title of ‘ Pugilistic Encounters’ was registered by William Brown of Mile End in Middlesex on the 20th Febuary 1860.One of the many souvenirs produced in anticipation of this famous fight.The bowl was designed like a gnarled tree trunk and had two pugilist depicted fighting on the stem of the pipe,this was the very first boxing pipe to be registered.


Another English pugilist Tom King,met English Champion Jem Mace for the second time on 26th November 1862 at Redway in Kent and Tom was awarded with the the Championship of England.John C Heenan was still Champion of the USA at that time.And two pipes were produced in 1863 to commemorate both fighters.One was registered on April 17th by Charles Crop,and consisted of each side the bowl being shaped as the head of each pugilist Tom King on the left side and J.C.Heenan on the right side.The other registered pipe was made by William Brown and had a bust of each pugilist on each side of the bowl,and this was registered on June 25th 1863.The two pugilist met several months later on December 8th 1863 at Wadhurst in Kent,when King knocked out Heenan for the World Title in twenty four rounds.


Later boxing pipes commemerated the London born Jem Smith,who first claimed the Championship of England after beating Jack Davis in a bare-Knuckle contest in 1885.His outstanding Prize-Ring achievement however took place at the Isle De Souvenaines on the river Seine in France on December the 19th 1887.When he fought 106 rounds with the famouse American pugilist Jake Kilraine.The fight was abandon and the fight declared a draw,when the light became to bad for them to continue.George Priest,a pipe maker of Canton near Cardiff in South Wales registered a pipe on November the 10th 1887 (rd.No.86705) where the decorations on the pipe was described as `two pugilist in fighting attitude on both sides of the bowl.On December the 15th 1887 only four days before the fight took place,Charles Crop & sons registered a pipe (rd.no.89618)with the bowl in the shape ot the head of “Jem Smith”


But contemporary pipes carried the decoration of a boxer on each side in a ring with the name Smith and Sullivan respectively above.The pipes represented Jem Smith and John L Sullivan the Famous American Champion during that peroid.It is intresting to note that these two Champions never actually met,though Sullivan did want to fight Smith.This Pipe was still manafactured up to recently by John Pollock & co of Manchester


On Febuary 13th1888,W,J,Brown & Sons registered a pipe whose design was entitled `Contesting For The Belt`(rd,no, 93528).The bowl had a belt depicted around it and the stem,which was diamond shaped in sections.This pipe is likely to commemerate the fight that took place Charlie Mitchell and John L Sullivan at Chantilly France on March 10th 1888.The fight was bare knuckle and ended in the 39th round draw due to the weather.


Many boxing fights had a belt for the prize,the most famous during this period being the Police Gazette Belt,whih was made of gold and silver.On August the 13th 1888 the backers of American Jake Kilrain deposited 5 thousand dollars to fight J,L,Sullivan for the Championship Belt and the World Title.This contest took place on July 25th 1889 and Sullivan beat Kilrain after 75 rounds.So the Sullivan/Smith pipes would have been particularly popular during this peroid.


On November 25th 1889 Charles Crop & Sons registered a pipe bowl and half of the stem were in the shape of a muscular human arm(rd,no,139047).A crossed chain was depicted around the upper arm,which formed the bowl,and the hand was shown half waydown the stem.This pipe could have been made in expectation of the forthcoming fight between Jem Smith and Frank Slavin of Australia which took place at Brugs in Belgium on December the 23rd 1889.This contest particularly notable for it ended in a disgrace as the whole fight broke into disorder and the referee quit.


No doubt there are other pipes commemorating particular pugilist or fights,a likely candidate would be Jem Mace.Many general pugilist pipeswere also produced throughout this period,they normanly depict a pair of boxers on the bowl.

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