Cleaning an Oversmoked Meerschaum

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hugodrax

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2013
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I've an old Peterson meerschaum from the 1970s I picked up for a song. Scratch and dent special--worn down rim, dented silver band.
Problem is it was just oversmoked. It's clearly block from the way it colored and the fact it doesnt have a calcined rim, but it is so heavy with tars it isnt funny. Literally heavy. Any way to clean these out of the block or am I stuck with a two ton meer?

 

hugodrax

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2013
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Neither. Both of those problems arent new to me. It sounds crazy, but I could swear the bowl itself, the meerschaum, is absolutely saturated with ooze.

 

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weezell

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Oct 12, 2011
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It could be just a heavy block. Is it Turkish or African?...

 

hugodrax

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2013
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I'll take a picture tomorrow. Like I said, pretty sure Turkish because it colored fairly evenly, but it's a ton even compared to African meers I own. I'll leave it to experts.

 

metalheadycigarguy

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Apr 26, 2012
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It very well could be pressed meerschaum if its heavier in weight than a genuine block meerschaum pipe from Turkey. Pressed meerschaum pipes will color, and if its from the 70's and heavily smoked it could have been very well colored by the previous owner(s). African meerschaum pipes can color nicely as well, but will require much more smoking time. Lee Van Cleef's pipe from For a Few Dollars More was an African meerschaum pipe, so they can color nicely.
As for the weight; the tars, oils, nicotine that's absorbed by the pipe shouldn't add that much weight to the pipe. I could be wrong, but nothing I've seen or read indicates a significant weight change.

 

hugodrax

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2013
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Well, dont think it's a pressed meer. While I agree with you that I've never seen anything about tar adding to the weight, either, I've never seen anything indicating Peterson made pressed meerschaum pipes, either. I'd be far more likely to believe its African, but even then, good gravy it's a jaw breaker.

 

chasingembers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
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Found this on the Pipe Divan site.
The Peterson Sherlock Holmes Meerschaum Watson is a large beautiful Peterson bent pipe that has been carved from premium Turkish block meerschaum, in the same shape as the Watson in the original Sherlock Holmes range.

 

jvnshr

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Sep 4, 2015
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metalheadycigarguy

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Apr 26, 2012
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Washington State
Well, dont think it's a pressed meer. While I agree with you that I've never seen anything about tar adding to the weight, either, I've never seen anything indicating Peterson made pressed meerschaum pipes, either. I'd be far more likely to believe its African, but even then, good gravy it's a jaw breaker.
Sorry, I spaced the fact that you mentioned it was a Peterson. Yes, Peterson would not have used pressed meerschaum; though, depending on the particular pipe it could be African or from Turkey. I know that Peterson used to have many of their older meerschaum pipes carved from African meerschaum at the Manx Meerschaum factory on the Isle of Mann, but later on they switched to Turkish meerschaum. A picture will hopefully help clarify the issue.

 

jvnshr

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Sep 4, 2015
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I know that Peterson used to have many of their older meerschaum pipes carved from African meerschaum at the Manx Meerschaum factory on the Isle of Mann, but later on they switched to Turkish meerschaum.
Didn't know that they switched to Turkish meerschaum. How did they obtain it? Any ideas?

 
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