The single most important event in the Academy’s year is its annual conference and general meeting. Conferences are held in different centres and usually focus on local pipe collections. They also feature reports on the state of research into the pipe industry in the region involved. We have recently met in Ruhla in Germany, Metz in France, Liverpool in the UK, Budapest in Hungary, Grasse in France and Novi Sad in Serbia.


AIP conference for 2017 will be in the UK, in Staffordshire. This will be the first time the Academy has been in the UK since the very succesful conference in Liverpool in 2008. This year's conference has been timed to coincide with that of the Society for Clay Pipe Reserarch (SCPR) which will take place on Sat 23rd September and members of the AIP have been invited to join the SCPR conference.

Sunday 24th September will be the overlapping day of both conferences and a visit to the famous clay tobacco pipe works in Broseley, Shropshire has been organised for members of both AIP and SCPR.

AIP's conference will the run from Mon 25th to Wed 27th September with an optional post-conference tour on Thur 28th. Members of SCPR have been invited to join us for our part of this conference week.

The theme of the conference will be "Back to the earth" and aims to chart the development of the clay tobacco pipe industry in northern Europe. If you would like to present a paper please contact us on More details will follow shortly.



Toyko, Japan, 2016

Our 2016 conference took us all the way to Tokyo in Japan. The conference theme Pipes and Smoking in south-east Asia introduced us all to pipes and a smoking culture that was very different to that of the West. Delegates were able to enjoy the hospitality of Japan Tobacco's Tobacco and Salt Museum. There were a number of very interesting papers, some of which we hope to publish at a later date in our journal. Tours, during the conference, included a trip to Tsubame to see kiseru being made in the traditional way. We also visted Tsuge Pipes to see their craftsmen and women at work. Our hosts were incredibly generous and welcoming with their hospitality and we were able to sample many Japanese delights during the conference including traditional tea ceremonies, Japanese music and dance as well as some outstanding cuisine. We are incredibly grateful to all those who worked so hard to make this such a wonderful and highly successful conference.

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Toyko, November 2016. From left to right: delegates outside the Tobacco and Salt Museum (TSM); diaorama from the TSM; pipes and tobacco pouch ( Maruyama Collection).

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Tokyo, November 2016. From left to right: delegates at the Tobacco and Salt Museum; enjoying the tea cermoney; delegates at Tsuge Pipes; dinner with staff from Tsuge Pipes.

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Tokyo, November 2016. From left to right: Delegates in Tsubame; and in Tokyo; finally the Gala dinner with Japan Tobacco.  

[Photos: David Higgins, Bert van der Lingen and Barney Suzuki]

Ypres/Wervik, Belgium, 2015

For our 30th anniversay AIP headed to Ypres and Wervik in Belgium. In this region, on the Belgian/ French border, some of the bloodiest pages in WWI history were written. Last year marked 100years since the start of WWI and the whole region was paying close attention to this historical fact. The AIP paid their part by having as the conference theme Pipes in War and Peace. Our first day was at the Nationaal Tabaksmuseum Wervik, who had put on a special exhibition entitled No Smoke No Soldiers, where we heard a number of very interesting presentations. The following day we were back in Ypres to hear more papers and then to the Musee Sandelin, St. Omer and an opportunity to view their impressive pipe collection. The final day of the conference included another very successful, and most enjoyable, auction and our gala dinner. Our post-conference tour took us to the Flanders in the Field museum and a walking tour of Ypres.



Ypres/Wervik, October 2015. From left to right: exhibition in the Nationaal Tabaksmuseum Wervik; delegates at a handling session in the Musee Sandelin, St Omer; about to start the tour of the Flanders in the Field museum.

[Photos: David Higgins and Susie White]

Bergerac, France, 2014

After almost 10 years we returned to Bergerac, France for our conference in 2014. Thanks to the hard work and organisational skills of Rene Delon we had a wonderful conference. We were very warmly received by the Tobacco Museum in Bergerac, who provided a superb reception for our delegates and gave us an opportunity to view their impressive collection - our thanks to the director of the museum Philppe Camin and his staff. At the conference we heard a number of very interesting papers, many of which we hope to publish in a furture edition of our journal. Our thanks go to all those who presented papers and also to the Bergerac Tourist Office for providing us with a number of very interesting excursions during the course of the conference. This year marked a first for the Academy, in that we held an auction, which was great fun and enjoyed by everyone. We hope to repeat this at our next conference. We very much look forward to meeting our colleagues and friends again next year in Belgium, in the meantime, here are a few photographs from the conference. You can find more on our Facebook page.



Bergerac, October 2014. From left to right: delegates outside the Tobacco Museum, Bergerac; delegates discussing a painting in the Museum; viewing the auction lots!

[Photos: Rene Delon and Susie White]

For the 2014 Conference Rene Delon has pulled together a short "movie" with highlights from the conference - click here to view.

Eisfeld, Germany, 2013

Our conference for 2013 was held in Eisfeld, Germany, on 16-20 October at the Otto Ludwig Museum in Eisfeld Castle. The museum presented a pipe exhibition entitled ‘Burning love – Thuringian porcelain pipes’, which included around 1000 pipes from Thuringian museums and private collections. It was an excellent exhibition that was enjoyed by all our delegates. We are most grateful to our friends and colleagues in Eisfeld, at both the museum and the Tourist Office, for helping to make the conference such a success.


Eisfeld, October 2013. From left to right: Conference venue; on a visit to the Manger Collection; gala dinner.

[Photo: David Higgins and Susie White]

Both delegates and the conference were so well received that we made it into the local papers - not once, not twice, but three times. Click on the links to see what the papers said about us!


Gdańsk, Poland, 2012

The conference for 2012 was held in Gdańsk, Poland on 26-28 September 2012. The theme of the conference was ’Fire and Water: Pipes as a symbol of maritime trade connections’ and a wide range of papers addressed this theme by considering how pipes were traded by ship. In addition to the conference papers there was an interesting programme of excursions that include Malbork castle, the cathedral at Pelpin, Sopot and Gdynia. We are most grateful to our colleagues and friends in Gdansk, in particular Mr. Piotr Jakubowski, Chairman of the Gdansk Pipe Club, for helping to make this conference so successful.

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Gdansk, October 2012. From left to right: Conference venue; on one of our walking tours; smoking contest.

[Photo: David Higgins and Susie White]

More photographs of our visit can be found on the Kalumet site ( on the following link


Novi Sad, Serbia, 2011

Members of the Academy outside the museum in Novi Sad, October 2011. [Photo: Divna Gacic]

Our conference was held in Novi Sad, Serbia on 5-8 October and focussed on the collections of the City Museum. The there of the conference was'The Turks abroad: the production, distribution and influence of Ottoman pipes and pipe-makers in Europe and beyond'. One of the highlights of the conference was the excellent exhibition which had been organised by the museum and the post-conference tour. We are hoping to publish the proceedings of the conference in a future edition of our journal.

Grasse, France, 2010

Members of the Academy studying the Rothschild Collection, November 2010
Members of the Academy studying the Rothschild Collection [Photo: Susie White]

2010 conference was held from 3-6 November in Grasse (Alpes Maritimes) in southern France. It focussed on the unique collection of the Baroness Alice de Rothschild made between 1880 and 1920 and containing almost 500 pipes in wood, clay, meerschaum and porcelain of the highest quality.  The highlight of the conference was the handling session in the Municipal Library (above) where delegates were able to study individual items in detail. There were also papers on recent advances in pipe research in the south of France, northern Italy and Spain.

If you would like to read summaries of the papers given at the conference they can be found below in English and French.

Budapest, Hungary, 2009

The 2009 Academy Conference in Hungary: delegates at the Blaskovitch Museum [Photo: Susie White]
The 2009 Academy Conference in Hungary: delegates at the Blaskovitch Museum [Photo: Susie White]

Our 2009 conference took place from 7-10 October at the National Museum in Budapest. Entitled ’Between East and West: relics of pipesmoking from the territory of East-Middle Europe from the excavated early claypipes to the culture of artistic meerschaum-carvings’, it brought together museum curators, archaeologists and collectors from all over the world, but especially from south eastern Europe. In honour of the occasion a new display  ’The Gift of the White Goddess: Meerschaum carvings from the pipe collection of the National Museum’ was opened. We also visited the Blaskovitch and Drebrecen museums both of which contain impressive pipe collections and both of which staged special exhibitions for our visit.

Liverpool, England, 2008

The president with two new members at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, September 2008
The president with two new members at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, September 2008

In September 2008 we met in the newly opened Victoria Gallery and Museum in the University of Liverpool.  The conference included visits to the ethnographic collections of the World Museum in Liverpool, a symposium ‘The pipe in its socio-economic context’ and a reception in the Adelphi Hotel.



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