Piratical Pipes - Treasure Island

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New member
Nov 2, 2011
I’ve always had a fascination towards pirates. Ever since I can remember I have been enamoured with the history and mythology of pirates. There are a number of pirate movies (that is, movies about bucaneers, not to be confused with pirated movies) that are in constant rotation in my video player. One of my favourites is Disney’s Treasure Island, starring Booby Driscoll and Robert Newton. This film was in released in 1950, but has stood the test of time quite well. In fact, while watching it, one can’t help but recognize that some of Newton’s Long John Silver mannerisms played an important part in Johnny Depp’s later characterization of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Having recently taken up the pipe, I’m always on the look-out for pipe references in literature and film. Treasure Island has two great pipe scenes which showcase, what I believe to be, historically accurate clay pipes. I’ve not read Robert Louis Stevenson’s original book (it’s on my list), so I can’t say if the pipes portrayed in the film are due to Stevenson’s genius or the producers. Either way, the pipes make a fun movie even more enjoyable.
Some stills from the movie are shared below (I think you can click the images to see larger versions).

Squire Trelawney and Dr. Livesy enjoying an after dinner pipe in Long John Silver’s tavern. These gentlemen look very happy, indeed. The pipes were offered up by Silver and presumably are the property of the establishment. Very civilized.

Squire Trelawney’s tamping his pipe. Note the waxed bit for comfort. I don’t see waxed bits too often on modern clay pipes, but I’ve read the practice and it’s nice to see it in the film.

Squire Trelawney’s tamping his pipe, close-up. A very substantial tamper and a lovely tobacco tin. I believe these items were also provided by the tavern.

Long John Silver lighting Squire Trelawney’s pipe.

Squire Trelawney lighting his personal clay pipe using a candle while Jim Hawkins looks on. This scene takes place while the crew are hiding out in the stockade on the island. Note that this pipe is substantially shorter than the pipes offered up in the tavern and offers much more practicality for the sea-traveller.

Squire Trelawney smoking his personal clay pipe while chatting with Jim Hawkins. In the background, Dr. Livesy attending to Captain Smollett.
Edit: Moved to General Discussion Topic. M



Preferred Member
May 4, 2011
Don't let Spielberg get a hold of it. He'll digitally edit out the pipes and have them all smoking lollipops. Then he'll take away the swords and replace them with rubber chickens.



Preferred Member
Oct 13, 2011
Puget Sound
Thanks for sharing the great photos, asphotographics. I hope you will share more as you find them.
I vaguely remember seeing pipes in movies or TV shows when I was young back in the 50's, but I can't remember now where or when. I think Fred MacMurray in My Three Sons and perhaps as The AbsentMinded Professor. I'm not sure.



Preferred Member
Jun 5, 2010
Cornelius, NC
I must have lived a bad life as a Pirate in a previous life, cause I dont' like anything to do with pirates, but thanks for the pics.