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gnatjulio

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2012
1,883
0
I've been on a Meerschaum kick of late.







Damn, sorry about the huge pics. Edit on photobucket, i guess it reverted back to original. :roll:

 

gnatjulio

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2012
1,883
0
Nice Meer Smokey, Lookin forward to seeing the coloring.
werdna, I wonder what that Meer would look like today. :cry:

 

jonasclark

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2013
459
7
Seattle
New member, big on meerschaum, especially Turkish carvings; the antique ones in conventional briar shapes, I have a couple and that's enough, and the antique carvings are always miles beyond my budget. I hauled everything off the shelves and took some photos just now.
Here are my antique pipes: three bulldogs and an egg-in-hand. The WDC straight bulldog has a gold-lacquered sterling band with a silver swirl. The bent bulldog's sticker reads "Cecil - Finest Quality" and had a broken stem, which I got repaired with a sterling band. The egg/hand simply says "Warranted Real Meerschaum," has remnants of oxblood coloring, and has a replacement lucite mouthpiece that looks vaguely amber-ish.


Here are some Turkish faces. L to R: S. Yanik skull-in-skeleton-hand, bought when he first began listing on eBay, stunning of course; SMS Erdogan Bacchus, the best Turkish-carved Bacchus I have ever seen, with a genuinely jovial face, tiny teeth, and happy eyes and wrinkles; CAO Ismet Bekler poodle, no. 25 of 100, 1980, bought already smoked and coloring gently all over; unsigned but nice Sherlock Holmes, wearing a deerstalker and smoking a tiny meer pipe with a white wire stem; Martin Luther King, can't read the sig, one ear damaged; and a great (I suspect CAO or Golden Horn) elephant, one tusk tip missing.


Same pipes, cased. The elephant, Holmes and (unsmoked) King lack cases.


Lattices and one figural. I adore lattices, especially what I call 'true lattice' where the holes interconnect. The poker has an almost whole outer shell, open in a ring around top and bottom. The square/octagonal billiard is Murat and comes in a box case, having oval holes that connect at the sides. Front-and-center is an older SMS lattice, with a sliding top cover that has holes drilled so you can smoke it closed; the cover fits on with a delrin peg and can be removed. Lower left is an oval-lattice Mastercraft bent egg with a cultured amber stem, which I suspect is actually a Bauer; I've seen many Bauers of this style, and most Mastercraft meers I've seen were very plain. Between those is a huge, twisted freeform lattice, with one-half of its flying top buttress broken off (anyone know who could reattach it?) and it fits in the huge case at top, having only a handwritten "freeform lattice" label. Middle left was my first-ever cased meer, bought at age 19, a false-lattice egg by Paycok which still has that sweet 'new meer' smell! Last, top right, is an SMS rose-in-hand which should, in my opinion, be signed, but isn't; it has that subtle under-surface texture of top-notch meer, and is smooth as glass and beautifully-designed!


Here's a very, very long saxophone I bought second-hand but unsmoked. Powerful face with a big beaklike nose, under an amazing turban that really looks like wrapped fabric. Well-done beard, too, on par with the Erdogan Bacchus. Seven meer stem sections. Unsigned, no case, and the stem sections also have that under-surface translucent texture.


All taken apart, with a good shot of the stern, imperious face.


My three calabashes. The bigger two need new inserts and new cork. The bottom (carved) one was bought new from the Disneyland Tobacconist when I was nine, and came with a porcelain bowl. Top left is the pipe part of an unused Manx African pipe-carving kit. Also in the shot is an abstract Hayim Pinhas, two uncased figurals (lion, pegasus) bought from Tinder Box in the mid-1990s, and a quarter-bent Mediterranean-style (grapes and leaves).


The prizes of the collection: two Bekler abstract freehands. The top one came in that CAO box case, with a second shank extention of terribly low quality (stone and carving) which I set aside; it has three open sections, and 95% of the surface has a tiny stippled pattern of bored pinholes. It's signed 'ismet Bekler '74.' The other one is uncased and has two open loops; it's smooth, but with some random though extremely pretty flowery surface carvings, and it has the Golden Horn brass stem dot - like the CAO dot but with Golden Horn's logo, a blocky "G" with the center opening formed by a calabash pipe outline. These pipes are unbelievably cool, in my opinion.


Another handle of these two lovelies:


I'm always looking for information, catalogs, etc. from CAO and Golden Horn. I also collect Kirstens and Kirsten bowls, and antique and unusual corncobs. Being that they've got 'meerschaum' in the title, here are the three prize MMs: a Tibbe's No. 1, Tibbe's No. 100 sans reed stem, and a burnished Tibbe's No. 2 1/2! I'm always after more of these.



 

jonasclark

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2013
459
7
Seattle
Uberam3rica, your staghorn-carved meer Kirsten bowls are nice. I love those, grabbed a few myself. They have some smooth ones, too, and some staghorns with a dimpled finish in the carved lines.
crk69, that lattice you've got is really nice. Though unmarked, it has beautiful and deep lattice, the sort that always grabs my attention!

 

uberam3rica

Preferred Member
Sep 7, 2011
4,019
1
Capac, Michigan
Uberam3rica, your staghorn-carved meer Kirsten bowls are nice. I love those, grabbed a few myself. They have some smooth ones, too, and some staghorns with a dimpled finish in the carved lines.
Thanks. Thats a first generation Kirsten, no O-rings. I got the Kirsten with three extra bowls for $25 total. One of the meer bowls was unsmoked.

 

bentmike

Preferred Member
Jan 25, 2012
2,423
0
That's a grand collection you have there jonasclark -thanks for sharing. And welcome to the forum.

 

wyfbane

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2013
4,038
0
Indeed, Welcome Jonasclark. Wow! Great Meers. You all have awesome pipes. I will be able to add my humble contributions when I get home from work.

 

wyfbane

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2013
4,038
0

^^ Bash


^^ the Claw


^^ Elephant


^^ Unsmoked 16" 70's era meer


^^ Unsmoked Cheroot


^^ Bow Chicka Bow Bow ;)


^^ Ebay Cheapie 1 (still nice tho)


^^ Ebay Cheapie 2 (still nice tho)


^^ Ebay Cheapie 3 (still nice tho)

 

tbradsim1

Preferred Member
Jan 14, 2012
7,478
92
Jon I have the same Elephant with case, bought it as an Estate, hardly smoked, btm of bowl was still white, no name on it, any info?

 

jonasclark

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2013
459
7
Seattle
Wyfbane, that calabash is a thing of beauty!
Here's my latest acquisition. The only top-notch antique pipe I had is that unbelievably-long bulldog in the first photo, which has an enormous bowl somebody actually smoked right from the top, over six inches of amber, and a gold band; that was a purchase from Racine & Laramie of San Diego. But I already had two other old bulldogs. In my experience, Turkish meerschaums are, for the most part, not very well-carved. Compared to Turkish meerschaums, antique ones have far better carving. However, compared with same-era peers, there are a lot of poor antiques, too. I'd really wanted one exceptionally-carved antique figural, and preferably a human or animal face instead of a cheroot or a claw. Also, antique figurals often seem to be either poorly colored, or artificially pre-colored (dragon's blood, oxblood) but with that finish wearing down to a mottled, spotty look. And then there are broken stems, or cheap modern replacements. I figured a great figural antique meer, with a good stem, nice coloring (real or fake) or no coloring at all, would cost me an arm and a leg.
...and then I found this bedouin or shepherd on Etsy. He's got a gorgeous dragon's blood precolor job, which has only gotten lightly mottled on the shank. He's been well-smoked. The stem probably isn't amber, but seems to be a 1930s Bakelite or Catalin replacement, or an Amberoid composition; it has a glassy feel but seems sturdy. And then there's the carving-- well, I'd love to hear others' opinions. I think it's a face that, had it a model, they could be recognized. Great beard, intense eyes and wrinkles, ears barely visible, and amazing asymmetrically-draped cloth, held by a double-wrapped rope that crosses over itself at one side. He looks slightly to one side, with his eyes aimed further that direction and the cloth drape pulled back on that side. I feel very lucky to have found him at an incredible price.




~ Jonas

 

seitz55

Member
Sep 6, 2013
142
0
WOW I have never heard of this material before until I seen this thread! The detail on some of those pipes are amazing!! :puffpipe:

 

jonasclark

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2013
459
7
Seattle
Seitz55, meerschaum is mined out of deep pits in the ground in Turkey. It's a very porous material, light in weight, and perfect for pipes. A great number of meerschaums are carved only moderately well, but you'll find some gems, both among antique European and American carvings and with Turkish ones, which all date to after the early 1960s when Turkey banned the export of uncarved meerschaum. In short, one sees some incredible artistry. And I'm partial to the free-flowing abstract designs first done by Ismet Bekler, a Turkish carver who achieved a great deal of fame in the business - not the best meerschaum carver, but the most famous in America.
My icon is a case label from Golden Horn, an exporter from Turkey/importer to California which first pushed Bekler's carvings. Their labels usually had the style designation printed on them, and Bekler's read "Genuine Bekler." His freehands/abstracts also read "Beyond Imagination." Meerschaums traditionally come in hinged, fitted cases, carved from wood, covered in leather or leatherette, and lined with silk or chamois.

 

seitz55

Member
Sep 6, 2013
142
0
Thanks for the info jonasclark on Meerschaums, do you know of reputable site to buy them from?

 

jonasclark

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2013
459
7
Seattle
I don't buy online, usually, but others here can probably suggest some. I know there are a few that're hotly-debated, considered awesome by some and a ripoff by others, due to some issues in actually receiving the pipes ordered, so it seems it's down to "your mileage may vary" on those. But there are lots of websites selling meerschaums, so if you find some carving you like and the price is in budget, go for it.
When I want to look at new meerschaums, I often find that "smoke shops," the sort which sell hookahs, glass pipes, cheap cigarettes and all sorts of junk, often run by Middle Eastern people, often also carry some meerschaums - often more than the local B&M (Briar & Meerschaum, meaning a traditional tobacconist) has. But then, here in Seattle - in the general Seattle/Tacoma area - we have about 5 real tobacconists and a billion smoke shops.

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
5,265
201
I think it's a face that, had it a model, they could be recognized. Great beard, intense eyes and wrinkles, ears barely visible, and amazing asymmetrically-draped cloth, held by a double-wrapped rope that crosses over itself at one side. He looks slightly to one side, with his eyes aimed further that direction and the cloth drape pulled back on that side. I feel very lucky to have found him at an incredible price.
@Jonas: That is an exquisite carving...very nice. Thanks for sharing the pics...and welcome to the forum.

 

jonasclark

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2013
459
7
Seattle
Nice little metal. Unorthodox but pretty. Closest I have is an Alco with a briar bowl in a pebbled white plastic shell.