Image information

Sketch depicting William Bragge (1823-1884) with pipe in hand, surrounded by pipes and smoking apparatus, captioned ‘Tobaccologia William Bragge F.S.A.

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Ref No:arc06203
Title:Sketch depicting William Bragge (1823-1884) with pipe in hand, surrounded by pipes and smoking apparatus, captioned ‘Tobaccologia William Bragge F.S.A.
Location:Sheffield
Date Period:1851-1899
Notes:

Evidently by artist Tristram Ellis (1844-1922) in preparation for engraving (arc03204).

It is not known precisely in which context Tristram Ellis created this artistic representation of William Bragge but it was presumably to commemorate Bragge’s role as a noted collector of pipes and smoking apparatus sourced from all over the world.

Outside of William Bragge’s prominent roles in Sheffield as Managing Director of Sir John Brown and Company, Master Cutler, Councillor and later Alderman, President of the Sheffield Literary and Philosophical Society, President of the Sheffield School of Art, Chairman of the Free Libraries and Museum Committee (where he played a key role in the establishment of Weston Park Museum), he was a keen antiquarian who amassed extensive collections of rare manuscripts and artefacts, many of which were sourced from his extensive overseas travels.

Arguably Bragge’s most remarkable collection, was of pipes and smoking apparatus. He published a catalogue on the collection which listed some 13,000 examples of pipes from places far and wide including China, Tibet, Japan, Van Diemen’s Land, the Gold Coast, North and South America, Greenland and the Falkland Islands. The collection also included hundreds of different samples of tobacco and snuff boxes, etc.

Bragge was the author of two catalogue works concerning tobacco: ‘Bibliotheca Nicotiana; a first catalogue of books about tobacco’ (1874) and ‘Bibliotheca Nicotiana; a catalogue of books about tobacco together with a catalogue of objects connected with the use of tobacco in all its forms’ (1880).

Original at Sheffield City Archives: MD7801/9/5a.

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