These two tobacco pipe stems were excavated at the Commonwealth Block site between 1988 and 2003. The inscriptions suggest they are of French origin.

A pipeful of tobacco was long-lasting and its aroma disguised the stench of Melbourne's streets. The short clay pipe favoured by working men was called a 'cutty'. Being made of brittle clay, these pipes broke easily, explaining the abundance of fragments uncovered at Little Lon. Of the pipes excavated, many were decorated with slogans, patriotic symbols, even jokes and caricatures, hinting at the identities of those who smoked them.

Physical Description

These two pipe stems are decorated with imprinted words spiraling around them.

Physical Description

Two stem fragments with French markings. Fiolet, St Omer (1765 - 1921). "GAMBIER/A PARIS/M*H/DEPOSE" (1890 - 1910).

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Little Lon Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Historical Archaeology

  • Acquisition Information

    Transfer from Heritage Victoria, Industry Superannuation PropertyTrust, 03 May 2005

  • Place Made


  • Inscriptions

    Around stem: ""L.Fiolet./StOme."" (impressed). Around stem: ""G.oier/a Paris/M M/Depose"" (impressed). Inscription on second pipe:" O...bier...'a Paris...m*H...Depose"

  • Context Number


  • Site

    [TCS] Australia, Victoria, Commonwealth Block, Melbourne

  • Distinguishing Marks

    Around stem: "L.Fiolet./St Ome." (impressed). Around stem: "G.bier/a Paris/M * H/Depose" (impressed).

  • Activity


  • Specific Activity

    Smoking - Pipe

  • Form


  • Provenance


  • Classification

    Historical archaeology

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline

    Archaeology - Historical

  • Type of item


  • Exhibition Collection Management

    46 mm (Length), 7 mm (Width), 7 mm (Height), 6 g (Weight)

  • References

    Richard Cumpston Jones, 2012, "Saint-Omer and the British Connection" P.95 ISBN: 978-1-4478-7482-9 - for Fiolet pipe. [Link 1] Amsterdam Pipe Museum, object no: 19 392 hp for Paris pipe.

  • Keywords

    Making History - Little Lonsdale Street