January 6, 2012
Meerschaum pipes are one-of-a-kind items crafted by master meerschaum craftsmen from Turkey. Read below for more info about meerschaum.
This is a rare, one of a kind meerschaum tobacco pipe. I chose this pipe because of its soft, rounded design and its unique self-standing feature. Unlike most meerschaum tobacco pipes, this one does not require a stand.
This is a classic, smooth pipe. Many meerschaum pipes are carved into interesting designs, but this perfectly smooth one is rare and classy. It is a handsome addition to a hobbyist’s pipe collection and deserves tender love and care. Here is an image gallery of this pipe:
Meerschaum – What is it?
Meerschaum is a mineral mined from the earth. It is made from sea animal bones and shells, compacted by the earth over thousands of years. “Meerschaum” means “sea foam” because it is a porous material that floats on water. Old sailors used to hear it clanking against the hulls of their ships as they would come into port, and named it “sea foam”.
The reason meerschaum is used to make tobacco pipes is because the pipe will give you a perfect draw the first time you use it. Usually with new briar tobacco pipes, you have to smoke it a few times to build up a layer of carbon on the inside of the bowl before the pipe will deliver a smooth smoking experience. Because meerschaum is porous and smooth, it needs no break-in period. Also, it’s unique properties absorbs the tar and color from tobacco as it is smoked, and after a few years of regular smoking it becomes a golden amber color, which is highly prized by pipe smokers.
Meerschaum stone is cut from the earth. It is then soaked in boiling water for a long time until it softens. Once soft, it is whittled like soap by a master craftsman who has one opportunity to turn it into a beautiful pipe. It cracks very easily when soft! Once done, it is cured and turned hard. It is then polished with carbunara wax and it is ready to smoke.
Meerschaum pipes are hand-carved by master craftsmen in Turkey, and it is often a family vocation passed down from father to son.
Another quality meerschaum pipe I recommend is this billiard-style pipe with a straight stem and straight sides instead of a rounded bowl.
Other Meerschaum Pipes
View a selection of other meerschaum pipes available on eBay: