Material encounters: the alternative use of clay tobacco pipes in England and Wales, c.1600-1900
This article explores the ways in which clay tobacco pipes were used on or against the body for purposes other than smoking. Whereas most approaches to material culture in the past consider the intended uses of objects, this research focuses on alternative uses and the broader contexts in which these adaptations were made. Examination of pipes used as weapons and medical instruments provides new evidence of the physical worlds of those who encountered these objects. It also demonstrates how reading objects ‘against the grain’ through analysis of alternative uses of everyday objects expands what we can learn from material culture.
Author affiliationSchool of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester
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