By Fred Bass
The Estate Meerschaum marketplace offers opportunity for both the budget minded and the collector of fine antiques. It also is rife with deception and prices that have little to do with product quality and value.
I buy Pipes to smoke, so antiques that are for display do not interest me. Knowledge in this market is limited among many Buyers and often as not, the Sellers. Lately, the marketplace has shown the value that Buyers place on estate Pipes that have coloration. The Estate marketplace has shown the value that many place on Pipes that have been colored by means of smoking. Some of these Pipes have been either the product of smoke jar coloring or baking, where the Pipe has been heated in an oven, either in the presence of tobacco or liquid suspension. My guess is that they have been packed in moist tobacco or tobacco juices in liquid suspension, and then heated in an oven. The appearance results are different than what happens when the Pipe is smoked and waxed over time.

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