Meerschaum Sure Colors Weirdly

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simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
1,479
9,194
UK
@simong: You know I could be wrong but that might not be an Ox Blood job you've got there but example of tobacco coloring and the use of a button/coin/restrictor. I have a couple of pipes that have gone that sort of 'Sh*t Brown' or turd color scheme just through me smoking them. I have posted before and after pictures on here before but we have to be careful since I don't want you sawing a perfectly good 'cutty' in half to win an argument. rotf
It's too good of a pipe to cut in half so no danger of that happening! Lol
You'll have to judge it in the cold light of day to know for sure I think. I still reckon it's been oxblooded, more of a purplish hue than a turdy brown to my eyes though.
 

condorlover1

Lifer
Dec 22, 2013
6,848
19,381
New York
And we are at the starting gate for the 'Pipes Magazine Circular Weekly Discussion on Meerschaum Coloring'. I am afraid I have to agree with Mr. Embers here since I have a lovely selection of 'Shit Colored' meerschaums and I have a few that are aubergine colored when examined in sun light. All have come about through me smoking them. I have a couple of Ox Blood specimens from the 1890s which I don't go a whole bundle on. Your 'cutty' is a really nice tidy specimen, is the foot colored 'jobbie brown' as that is usually the way to tell if they have been pre-colored. I would certainly love to see it close up.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
36,420
74,411
And we are at the starting gate for the 'Pipes Magazine Circular Weekly Discussion on Meerschaum Coloring'. I am afraid I have to agree with Mr. Embers here since I have a lovely selection of 'Shit Colored' meerschaums and I have a few that are aubergine colored when examined in sun light. All have come about through me smoking them. I have a couple of Ox Blood specimens from the 1890s which I don't go a whole bundle on. Your 'cutty' is a really nice tidy specimen, is the foot colored 'jobbie brown' as that is usually the way to tell if they have been pre-colored. I would certainly love to see it close up.
The color on that cutty appears too uniform to be from smoking and the upper part of the bowl appears to have been colored as well but has since faded from heat and handling.
 

simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
1,479
9,194
UK
Ox Blood it is! Want to know why?
Yes, please do tell!?
I'm guessing because the base of the foot is 'bloodless' but I for one would like to know more about the whole Oxblood thing.
Specifically, what exactly was it, how did they do it & why they stopped doing it???
I remember reading about how they used to dip the old meers in boiling whale oil for the 'calcined' effect, not sure how they are doing it now though. These recent lee van cleef meers look don't quite look the same to me.
Oxblooding.......very much like capital punishment & page 3 girls, high time they made a comeback!
 
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condorlover1

Lifer
Dec 22, 2013
6,848
19,381
New York
Ox Blood is a coloring agent. Now I am open to be corrected here as what I am about to say is based on here say, stuff that people have told me who are now long since dead. My understanding that coloring was applied to pipes and was the same sort of stuff used to make those 'Shit Brown' colored tiles you see on the outside of older London Underground Stations in London. I believe it was painted on with a fine brush and then fired at a low heat. Others have told me it was done with a lamp and some sort of Iron Oxide based pigment. I have a few pipes where you can definitely see this types to activity but then I have a few that have colored that way with the line between the brown color and the white bowl caused by restrictor in the base of the bowl.
 

condorlover1

Lifer
Dec 22, 2013
6,848
19,381
New York
As an after though the base of the foot is white so I would assume that was protected when the pipe was heated/treated. Thats all I know gents. Anyone else want to chime in?
 

simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
1,479
9,194
UK
Ox Blood is a coloring agent. Now I am open to be corrected here as what I am about to say is based on here say, stuff that people have told me who are now long since dead. My understanding that coloring was applied to pipes and was the same sort of stuff used to make those 'Shit Brown' colored tiles you see on the outside of older London Underground Stations in London. I believe it was painted on with a fine brush and then fired at a low heat. Others have told me it was done with a lamp and some sort of Iron Oxide based pigment. I have a few pipes where you can definitely see this types to activity but then I have a few that have colored that way with the line between the brown color and the white bowl caused by restrictor in the base of the bowl.
I remember seeing a pair of unsmoked meers that had been Oxblooded on the bay years ago. A definate resemblance to the 'iron oxide' colour you mentioned. I'd love to know how they did it but perhaps we'll never know for sure as the practice has like you say dissapeared from living memory.
Funny you noticed the similarity with the 'shit brown' tiles on the Tube. After googling oxblood turns out that's what the architect wanted for the Tube stations. Although he described the colour not as Oxblood or Shit brown but 'Sang de Boeuf'.Probably charged tuppence a tile extra for that as it sounds a bit posher. Lol
From Wikipedia,
From 1903, the English architect Leslie Green used an industrial, solid, sang de boeuf glaze on the glazed architectural terra-cotta tiles for the exteriors of the stations of a large part of the London Underground system, which was then divided between a number of commercial companies. His employer, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London was building the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway, the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway and the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway, which are now respectively sections of the Piccadilly line, Bakerloo line and Northern line. The Leeds Fireclay Companymade the tiles.[11]