Broken Clay Pipes

One of my favourite photographs in Henry Morton’s book, In Search of Ireland (pub. 1930), is Fair Day, by Thomas Holmes Mason (see bottom of page). While looking at more of his work in the National Library of Ireland Catalogue I came across a photograph entitled “Salruck Graveyard” (ca. 1890-1903).

Two things struck me about this photograph taken in Connemara: the young lad who’s literally dressed in patched tatters and the clay pipes placed on the grave in the foreground. It turns out that clay pipes were made available to mourners at wakes. Later, in the graveyard, the pipes were typically broken and laid on the departed’s grave.

Further information can be found HERE.

Dressed in such rags, this child must have lived in extreme poverty.

Dressed in such rags, this child must have lived in extreme poverty.

Fair Day, by Thomas Holmes Mason, taken from Morton's book, In Search of Ireland. Click or tap for more detail.

Fair Day, by Thomas Holmes Mason, taken directly from Morton’s book, In Search of Ireland. Click or tap for much more detail.

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