Vinche

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From Pipes, Artisans and Trademarks, by José Manuel Lopes

Vinche was a Belgium meerschaum brand started in 1864 when Jean-Baptiste Vinche opened his pipe shop in the centre of Brussls. His son, Victor Vinche succeeded him and in 1895, began making pressed meerschaum pipes, whose secrets he got from the Austrian company Kaufthal. From then on the brand increased its reputation and won various international prizes.

Marcel and René Vinche (M. et R. Cinche & Cie.) took over the running of the company in 1927, creating the huge pipe on the facade of the tobacconist in the Rue Marché aux Herbes, inspired by René Margritte's surrealist painting Ceci n'est pas une pipe. After buying another factory, they started producing brair pipes, reaching 5000 pipes a week in 1938. In the post war period the company sold various smoker's accessories, especially lighters and in 1965, Jacques Vinche, René's son became the fourth generation at the head of the brand.

Vinche had by then been joined by Feff and ia Koopmans, who in 1977 had left the Hillen facotry (see Hilson, giving rise to the current firm. Symbol V.B.