200 George Street

Pipe Dreams


Case 14

Pipes like these were just about everywhere you looked in Sydney during the nineteenth century. Men and women regularly smoked tobacco, with the long stem clamped between their teeth.

Not all pipes were equal. Particular patterns and images were used to decorate the bowls of the pipe. Some of these were chosen by the smoker to reflect an aspect of their personality or cultural heritage. Some of the pipes found included symbols of Irish nationalism, like the Irish harp. Other pipes show the Scottish thistle, ships or steam trains. These images would have been meaningful and immediately recognisable to smoking companions and colleagues.

Although most were made in Scotland, some pipes were designed specifically for the Australian market. The ‘Squatter Bungaree’ shows a figure smoking under a tree on one side, and two Aboriginal people holding bottles on the other.

Unusual pipes found at 200 George have commemorative images, such as the Crystal Palace and the faces of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

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