Saturday, 19 March 2016
Answer to Wednesday's mystery object. Crowbard is right in his answer that the object is a tobacco pipe tamper. The above photograph shows the position of use in a small, 17th century clay pipe. It is a good (but not tight) fit in the pipe.
This photo is the same but includes a 19th century 'churchwarden' clay pipe. The tamper could have been used in this pipe, but it would be a loose fit.
I should perhaps have mentioned that the tamper is made of very pale (Georgian) brass. It dates, in my opinion, from the eighteenth century, although in his book -'Paktong, the Chinese alloy in Europe' the author, my friend Keith Pinn, stresses the difficulty of dating these tiny artifacts made in paktong or pale brass, but states that they were mainly made from the eighteenth century up to the mid nineteenth century.