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 What did Van Gogh Smoke?

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smoker13



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PostSubject: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:47 pm

I recently got a couple Ser Jacopo pipes from the 'picta' series, a Magritte and a really nice Van Gogh. I was going to break out the latter this morning and the thought struck me, now what would be the appropriate tobacco to smoke in this?

So, what kind of tobacco would a poor painter from Holland travelling around the countryside there and also France in the latter 19th century smoke? I was wondering if his proximity to the sea would give him access to some kind of Navy Cut, or plug, or rope or what have you.

Anybody have any insight into this? My interest goes beyond this particular fellow's situation in the 19th century, but that time period holds a fascination for me and thatgoes for a lot of different guys in a lot of different countries who reached for their pipes and filled them with.....?

But for now, I'd like to stick with Vincent.

True insights and guesses are all welcomed and appreciated.
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:50 pm

Earinmore or Less Flake? scratch
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:54 pm

Cartaphilus wrote:
Earinmore or Less Flake? scratch

5)
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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:06 am

If I had to guess, my best shot would be Semois. But I think we'd be surprised by what some famous smokers smoked. Not upper shelf, sophisticated stuff at all, by contemporary standards. Who smoked a pipe in the 19th century more than Mark Twain? I read that he smoked some really rank stuff. Preferred it, actually. So who knows? Not I, sir.
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Fr_Tom

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:36 am

Richard Burley wrote:
If I had to guess, my best shot would be Semois. But I think we'd be surprised by what some famous smokers smoked. Not upper shelf, sophisticated stuff at all, by contemporary standards. Who smoked a pipe in the 19th century more than Mark Twain? I read that he smoked some really rank stuff. Preferred it, actually. So who knows? Not I, sir.

So his blend of choice was something like Great-grandpa Joe Krantz?
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:46 am

I'm not sure if this helps, but I swung by my local B&M last week to stock up on some pipe cleaners. I got distracted as one usually does by the fine selection of briars, and just as I replaced a nice Pete back in its cabinet, a chap walked in carrying an easel and an artist's paint board. He walked straight up to the counter and without hesitation asked for a tin of Samuel Gawith's Squadron Leader. The attendant nodded, turned, and retrieved a tin from a shelf near the top. The chap had to ask for the price twice as he struggled to hear what the attendant had said; understandable as he had left the door open to the busy street and he only had one ear. He paid his money, muttered something about the prices of tobacco in Britain in a strong Dutch accent, and left.

Wink
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:06 am

Cartaphilus wrote:
Earinmore or Less Flake? scratch

Van Gough wrote:
What?

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These are horrible times and all sorts of horrible people are prospering, but we must never let this disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to annoy and hinder them at every turn.
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smoker13



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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:35 am

OK, now that everyone's had a good (?) laugh, does any of you Rhodes Scholars know what kind of tobacco folks back in the 19th century smoked? Was the market primarily cornered by American firms with Virginia tobacco being pretty much the staple?
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Bugsahearn

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:23 am

I've read a lot of van gogh's letters but I don't think i've ever seen any mention of a pipe tobacco brand. There is that painting where the pipe & tobacco looked like they are wrapped up in cloth on the chair
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:13 am

Ok, now that I've had my fun (apologies, the devil in me took over), I would think that the chap would have most likely smoked Virginia or burley 'baccy as I believe these were the most common at the time.

I think his work only found wealth in the main after his death and from the little I know about him he didn't lead an affluent existence. As blends and other 'fancy' ingredients were more costly and therefore for the wealthy I would offer that he most likely smoked a single leaf variant or at best a simple combination of Virginia and burley.

That's me.
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Bugsahearn

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:22 am

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:27 am

While in France, he very most probably smoked the cube de gris also known as Scaferlati caporal. As he was dirt poor, I would guess he smoked whatever he could get his hands on, or whatever was given to him by charitable souls.
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Bugsahearn

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:53 am

his brother theo sent him tobacco often, I forget where theo lived though, Paris I'd assume?
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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:21 am

Fr_Tom wrote:
Richard Burley wrote:
If I had to guess, my best shot would be Semois. But I think we'd be surprised by what some famous smokers smoked. Not upper shelf, sophisticated stuff at all, by contemporary standards. Who smoked a pipe in the 19th century more than Mark Twain? I read that he smoked some really rank stuff. Preferred it, actually. So who knows? Not I, sir.

So his blend of choice was something like Great-grandpa Joe Krantz?

Blackwell's Durham, according to photo of tobacconist's receipt, pg. 39 of P & T Magazine, vol. 2, #3.

" />

Back on thread, sort of, anyone want my opinion of Van Gogh as a painter? No? I didn't think so.
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smoker13



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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:52 am

Now we're talkin'! Many Thanks, Gents. Bugs, thanks for those inks, I find them most interesting. And Richard Burley, thanks for that find. I'm going to dig back into my stack of magazines when I get the chance.

As we all know, Vincent was the definition of poverty. As, let's face it, many of the folks who reached for the pipe for comfort after a meal in those bygone days. That's what I'm basically after, what was the common pipe stuffer for the common man back then. I'm assuming all of the tobak came from the USA, just interested in the grades of leaf that got siphoned down. I'll have to seek out some literature on this subject someday.

In the meantime., brothers, let's celebrate the fact that we can smoke so many different WONDERFUL varieties of the leaf!
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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:06 pm

smoker13 wrote:
 ...In the meantime., brothers, let's celebrate the fact that we can smoke so many different WONDERFUL varieties of the leaf!

I'll drink to that! (And anything else, for that matter.)
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DrT999

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:18 pm

Also remember van Gogh worked in Britain as an art dealer before taking up missionary work and then painting. So at least when he started he would have had access to some of the products McConnell, Gawith, Germain. etc. are still producing today.
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Bugsahearn

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:05 pm

Being Dutch, I wonder if Vince had developed a taste for dutch pipe tobacco? I'm not sure what was popular among dutchmen in the late 1800's, perhaps some type of cavendish? Or is that danish
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DrT999

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:12 pm

Bugsahearn wrote:
Being Dutch, I wonder if Vince had developed a taste for dutch pipe tobacco? I'm not sure what was popular among dutchmen in the late 1800's, perhaps some type of cavendish? Or is that danish

Perhaps Troost slices!
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smoker13



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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:41 pm

I had opined earlier that, being Dutch, Vincent could have frequented different seaport towns and maybe gotten his hands on some inexpensive "navy rolls" of tobak or flakes. Who knows what kinds of leaf were available and could be had for low prices on the docks for those shipping out and in a hurry.  It conjures up some pleasing scenes in my empty head.

EDIT: Point of fact: I love history, ( I'm also an artist but that really doesn't bear any relation at all to this post) and I love smoking pipes, and connecting the two over the centuries gives me great pleasure, somehow. Like when I watch the Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War, whenever I see a photo of men gathered and there are 2 or 3 smoking pipes, I get a little elated and try to stop the frame so I can best study the types of pipes that are being smoked and wonder at the stories behind them.


Last edited by smoker13 on Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DrT999

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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:49 pm

smoker13 wrote:
I had opined earlier that, being Dutch, Vincent could have frequented different seaport towns and maybe gotten his hands on some inexpensive "navy rolls" of tobak or flakes. Who knows what kinds of leaf were available and could be had for low prices on the docks for those shipping out and in a hurry.  It conjures up some pleasing scenes in my empty head.

You're certainly right about such rolls and ropes being easily available in the ports, but I don't know about inland. No 19th century art historians on board? If he stuck with a particular type (or brand) surely some biography might have mentioned it!
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PostSubject: Re: What did Van Gogh Smoke?   Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:56 am

Bugsahearn wrote:
his brother theo sent him tobacco often, I forget where theo lived though, Paris I'd assume?

Not sure, bud...But I think he was also in France.
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