Pipe Fragment Discovered

Have you ever found crystals growing inside a rock? Sometimes, bricks hold hidden surprises, too.

This brick was removed from the brick flooring next to the dry well in the Mansion cellar during recent archaeological excavations ahead of the Mansion Revitalization Project. The brick had broken apart, revealing a large fragment of tobacco pipe bowl. This type of kaolin or ball clay pipe was popular in the 18th century. Somehow, the pipe fragment entered the unfired brick paste during the manufacturing process—whether accidentally or intentionally, we might never know.

Large inclusions can create weaknesses, which ultimately result in a brick fracturing. Other bricks in our collections have broken around large rock inclusions and even a leaf, but this is the first time we’ve seen a tobacco pipe!

Video: Pipe Fragment Discovery

Mansion Revitalization Blog

Follow along as we post updates and discoveries from the landmark Mansion Revitalization Project.

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