Pipes Magazine » General Pipe Smoking Discussion

Search Forums  
   
Tags:   

18th Century Meerschaum???

(32 posts)
  • Started 1 week ago by gatorlope
  • Latest reply from gatorlope
  1. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I recently acquired this pipe and though the stem appears to have been replaced sometime in the mid 1800s, I think that the meerschaum bowl may predate that by as much as 50 to 100 years... please, see what you think and if you can enlighten us on a mystery pipe, please do,

    Close up:

    The other side:

    Close up:

    Posted 1 week ago #
  2. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,341

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Interesting piece!

    I recently acquired this pipe and though the stem appears to have been replaced sometime in the mid 1800s

    What's the basis for thinking the bowl is 18th C and/or the stem 19th C?

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 week ago #
  3. greeneyes

    greeneyes

    Junior Member
    Joined: Jun 2018
    Posts: 76

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Seems to me that your pipe isn't meerschuam, but bone. I'd tender a further guess that it's the head of a femur. The relief art carved into it passes beyond the compact bone to the trabecular (holey) bone. I might even guess that it's the humerus of a dolphin or other cetacean.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  4. hugodrax

    hugodrax

    Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 259

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Well, this place is just a founty-fount of pure knowledge. Dolphin femur.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  5. warren

    warren

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2013
    Posts: 7,546

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Doesn't look, from the photo, to be meerschaum. Unknown bone would be my best guess. I've not dissected any dolphins so I can't comment there.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 1 week ago #
  6. greeneyes

    greeneyes

    Junior Member
    Joined: Jun 2018
    Posts: 76

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Only DNA tests will tell. Just kidding. I suppose if it were a sailor that had made it, the bones of sea mammals like seals, dolphins and whales would be easy to come by.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  7. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Posted 1 week ago #
  8. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    The mouthpiece is well fitted to the pipestem and works very well, but there is threading on the inside that leads me to think that it was originally manufactured for some entirely different purpose. As I understand vulcanite, it dates from sometime in the 1850s and this might be a relatively early piece ingeniously adapted to serve as a mouthpiece, so that is why I think the stem of the pipe dates from the mid 1800s.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  9. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I cleaned up the pipe and found it to have no draw. The stem and the shank are a poor fit, so that means to me that it is a replacement for the original, which implies that the pipe is older, maybe much older, than the stem and its’ vulcanite mouthpiece.
    Using a metal pick to probe the blocked shank, I dislodged a piece of paper that had been indistinguishable from the surrounding material. Some former owner had used a heavy paper to improve the fit of the stem, but eventually clogged the shank.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  10. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Since then, I’ve cleaned out the shank and found a successful adaptation for the fit of the stem to the shank by coiling a pipecleaner around the tapered end of the stem.

    So,I’ve cleared the shank and cleaned the pipe. Since then, I’ve smoked three bowls of tobacco in it and it is performing quite satisfactorily.
    BTW, the overall length of the pipe is approximately fifteen and a half inches.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  11. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    As to the material of the pipe, it might not be meerschaum or it might be meerschaum from a source other than the Turkish meerschaum that we are accustomed to. Anyway, despite it’s age and evident usage, it doesn’t show any of the coloring that a meerschaum might. Perhaps a different mineral?
    I doubt that it would be bone, because I think bone would burn and stink up your tobacco and that is definitely not the case, because I have had three good smokes from it since I cleaned it.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  12. mikethompson

    mikethompson

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2016
    Posts: 3,763

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    A very unique pipe!

    If the age on the pipe is over 200 years old, I'm sure the bone has been thoroughly dried as to not let off a stink when used. Where did you get it?

    Posted 1 week ago #
  13. husky

    husky

    Junior Member
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 81

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Try cutting a dry piece of bone or antler with a power tool.
    The smell is not pleasant.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  14. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    The other thing is the artwork itself... To me the style is almost medieval!

    Posted 1 week ago #
  15. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Greneyes,, I understand why you say that part of it looks like the porous part of a bone. You’re looking at the foliage over the horse, right? But the trunk of the tree passes right through the middle of it and is as solid as the rest of the pipe. What you see as looking like the marrow part of a bone appears to be deliberately cut in order to simulate foliage. Some of the cuts appear to be round as if made by a drill bit the majority of them are neither round nor evenly shaped.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  16. hugodrax

    hugodrax

    Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 259

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I think you'll find that's a massa meerschaum pipe that was sold in their thousands by retailers such as Sears Roebuck back around the turn of the last century.

    Sometimes they have a faux date carved on them.

    Or it's a dolphin leg bone. Your choice. Its Liberty Hall.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  17. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Hugo, your pessimism is delightful!
    Unfortunately, it doesn’t shed much light on the question at hand.
    However, it also has given me an idea to follow up on.
    Back in colonial times, trade goods were brought to America for trading with the native Americans. That included beads, arrowheads, tomahawks and I believe pipes as well.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  18. greeneyes

    greeneyes

    Junior Member
    Joined: Jun 2018
    Posts: 76

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Where do you live? We might yet get this cleared up

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/ontour/

    Posted 1 week ago #
  19. hugodrax

    hugodrax

    Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 259

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Gatorlope:

    Thanks for the sense of humour, but it's honestly not pessimism. Chances of that being an eighteenth century meerschaum are very, very low. It's an interesting pipe and I honestly mean that.

    I truly believe it's an imitation meerschaum out of a mass retailer back in the day--the slight coloring on the second pick makes me believe that the wax has worn off and it's very dirty.

    Also, that stem was made for decades and decades after one would think they'd stopped being produced and there was a great market for "old timey" things even 120 years ago.

    If I'm wrong, I'm happy to be wrong. But what I've said doesn't take away from the fact that its interesting and there aren't many left.

    There are a lot of things I'll fight over, but not pipes. When you get a positive answer, please share it.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  20. canucklehead

    canucklehead

    Junior Member
    Joined: Aug 2018
    Posts: 98

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I think you'll find that's a massa meerschaum pipe that was sold in their thousands by retailers such as Sears Roebuck back around the turn of the last century.

    I think you are correct, it looks like a German-made massa (pressed) meerschaum with the aft part of the stummel cut off, and missing its metalwork. The stem is probably original, as those pipes were mostly made between 1840-1880.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  21. piperwinston

    piperwinston

    New Member
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 14

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    wow, you certainly get something.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  22. elbert

    elbert

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2015
    Posts: 575

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    https://m.ebay.ie/itm/LARGE-ANTIQUE-CARVED-MEERSCHAUM-PIPE-BOWL-STAG-AND-VILLAGE-SCENE/123778996085?hash=item1cd1cd9775:g:m0MAAOSwUV1c2JZj

    Similar bowl and motifs, but the carvings are different.

    "An thou hast them, smoketh them!" -An Old Philosopher
    Posted 1 week ago #
  23. elbert

    elbert

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2015
    Posts: 575

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    http://tobaccopipeartistory.blogspot.com/2014/06/norwegian-pipe-models-with-acanthus.html?m=1

    Some info about the shape of the pipe? The author calls it "Norwegian style"

    Posted 1 week ago #
  24. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    What reference I’ve found to “trade pipes” so far refers to clay rather than stone. If the pipe part of this dates back that far, I think that it would have belonged to someone more prosperous, who could afford something sturdier than those fragile clay pipes.
    I like Greeneyes’ suggestion for Antiques Roadshow, but I’m in South Florida and they’re not coming anywhere near me this year.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  25. hugodrax

    hugodrax

    Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 259

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    It’s the lost pipe of Olaf (Ole) Ewearenütson, first Norwegian to step foot on the shores of the English New World. Deported for stealing herring over the value of 21 shillings (a shitload of shad), he arrived in Philadelphia in April 1, 1723. Together with his wife, Lena, he set up a successful fencing operation on Walnut Street. To this day, he remains an honored symbol of the Norwegian peoples easy assimilation into the culture.

    Although technically priceless, it last sold for a case of Gordon’s fish sticks to a real Tartar.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  26. hugodrax

    hugodrax

    Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 259

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    It’s the lost pipe of Olaf (Ole) Ewearenütson, first Norwegian to step foot on the shores of the English New World. Deported for stealing herring over the value of 21 shillings (a shitload of shad), he arrived in Philadelphia in April 1, 1723. Together with his wife, Lena, he set up a successful fencing operation on Walnut Street. To this day, he remains an honored symbol of the Norwegian peoples easy assimilation into the culture.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  27. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Thank you, Elbert!
    Both of those may be relevant.
    BTW, I’ll do another pic looking down and perhaps one looking up. It’s not so slab sided as those English and Norwegian examples seem to be.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  28. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    From the top:

    From the bottom:

    Posted 1 week ago #
  29. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    The only flat surfaces are the tops of the bowl and the shank.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  30. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    As for Olaf Ewearsnuttin, (alternative spelling) , I think he actually had to flee the country after stripping in the royal court and mooning the king,

    Posted 1 week ago #
  31. hugodrax

    hugodrax

    Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 259

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Brother, you're all right by me. I really hope you get to the bottom of this.

    Just a thought, but why dont you email some photos to the tobacco pipe artistory blog? They would know and I'm really hoping that's a historical pipe. That shape is like a ship's prow.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  32. gatorlope

    gatorlope

    Member
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Yeah, I tend to think of the bottom of the pipe as the “keel.” No matter what, it’s a genuine “wotzit”, a curiousity and a minor mystery.

    If we didn’t speculate, then we wouldn’t have any theories to be proven one way or another.

    Meanwhile, we have fun and learn things!

    Posted 1 week ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   64alex, alaskanpiper, danimalia, snagstangl, ashdigger, upnorth1, cshubhra, canadianpuffer, jaytex969, scottfree