Finally Got a Meer!

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jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
17,850
10,243
Carmel Valley, CA
A hot water flush works wonders for meerschaum. Keeps cake to a minimum and cleans the airway. I'd never use alcohol unless all else fails.

A bonus is you'll see the color come to the surface, a preview of what it'll look like with more smoking. (The coloring disappears/recedes as the meer dries.)
 
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cshubhra

Preferred Member
I mistreat my meerschaum pipes. They are not very expensive nor very old, so I would never advice you to do them. My meers have held up to the mistreatments so far. However

1. I do ream them occasionally- I wet the cake with water till it’s soft and ream with a knife type reamer
2. I wash them with water. They have not gotten dirty but if they did, I would not hesitate to use a dish detergent and a very soft sponge
3. Block meerschaum airway can be cleaned with alcohol- However presses Meerschaum would disintegrate


I almost always do exactly that, but I don't even know how to clean up a meer. There's about 7 pounds of rock-hard cake in bottom of the chamber, and the idea of sticking a knife or reamer in there does not sit right with me. Plus, I've read that there are sometimes all manner of buttons and whatnot lurking in the bottom of old meers. Maybe I'll just run it under the sink, pack a bowl, and see what happens...
 

condorlover1

Preferred Member
Dec 22, 2013
5,166
8,198
New York
@trubka2. OK I will chime in. Firstly it is highly likely you have the 19th century answer to 'Philt Pad' at the bottom of the pipe in which case it will either be a silver Three Penny Piece, button or some home brewed up washer configuration from yesteryear. Sometimes the better quality French meerschaums used to come with a removable meerschaum plug for the bowl to enable coloring. As I have remarked before you used to be able to buy for a Farthing (1/4p of a penny) a small china stopper for the base of a clay pipe to keep the crud out of the stem and enable a cooler smoke or so the theory went. If you are feeling courageous scrape around the blob to see if you are looking at a home brewed coloring bowl. If that is the case it will have holes in whatever it is. Scrape the chamber flush with the top of the obstruction and then insert a cork screw into one of the holes of the coin/button and pull gently and see if it moves. The trick is to scrape all the crud off the chamber so that whatever it is can be pulled out without ruining the chamber. If in doubt then send it off to Briarville.

With regard to spacers the paper washers used on stationary work a treat as well will any thick cardboard similar to that used to form match booklets. Again, punch a hole and then add as many as required to square up the pipe stem and bowl and then trim the surplus away using a razor blade. If the threading on the shank is buggered due to some idiot it becomes necessary to cement the bone tenion into position which is a lot more preferable to a snapped amber stem. Again removing these items from an amber stem is best left to an expert since you will be up against a 100+ years of accumulated pipe crud that will have set as hard as concrete.

In answer to your question about the case lining. That is fairly common with French meerschaum pipes. I have seen pipes that have been stored in damp conditions and the dye used on the silk has leeched onto the pipe. In your case that has not happened so count yourself very lucky.

I have a couple of this manufacturers 'cutty' pipes and they are well made and I have found the quality is often superior to the pipes manufactured in Vienna during the same period. At the end of the day it's really an instrument for smoking tobacco with but the esthetics do play a part in the smoking experience. I hope you enjoy your pipe.
 

trubka2

Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2019
2,469
21,585
Many thanks for the expert guidance, @condorlover1 ! It looks like the tenon was glued into the stummel at some point.

CC Paris tenon.jpg

I am most definitely in doubt about my ability to clear out the chamber without ruining the pipe, so I will send it off to Briarville. The draught is relatively open, and there is some space in the chamber for tobacco, so I'm thinking about just firing it up as is to see what flavor all that 100 year old crud has. Could that damage the pipe? If there's any risk, I'll just wait until I get it back from Briarville.
 
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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
32,654
21,971
I was given my first and only Meer by the late great fish'n'banjo, and have truly enjoyed it for the clarity of its rendering the flavors of blends. Anyone with more than a dozen pipes could enjoy a Meer. That's a handsome one!
 
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jonasclark

Preferred Member
Aug 4, 2013
543
117
Seattle
By the way, the coloring on your pipe is from smoking, not one of those dye jobs that were common. Great pipe, and Ric will handle it well!
 
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