Need a Little Help From the Experts

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Mr.Mustachio

New member
Aug 19, 2020
12
24
IL
These are also called "lap pipes" (because of how you smoke them). The carvings most frequently feature animals, battles, and pastoral scenes. They're frequently dated... and the dates are always wrong! The meerschaum pipe industry didn't get started until the middle of the 1800s. These pipes came in around the 1890s, and were sold inexpensively as being "antique-style." They were given dye jobs (though high-end meerschaums were, too). Oh, and... they were nearly always pressed ("chip") meerschaum.

If you have access to one of the old Sears catalog reprints from the late 1800s-early 1900s, there's usually one in the pipes section.
Does Sears maintain any online copies of these?
 
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jguss

Preferred Member
Jul 7, 2013
1,148
1,448
Very cool pipe!

Antique meerschaum is a whole different animal from briar. With anything that old I’d look to consult with someone who makes this a specialty. With luck they’ll tell you what it needs and probable cost. Ben Rapaport is a leading expert on antique meerschaums in general (he literally wrote the book) and might be able to point you in the right direction.

As for its age, the math won’t support 1826 as the year of manufacture unless it was already several generations old when your great-grandfather bought it. Always possible. Or it could have been bought by a more remote ancestor than you thought.
 

Mr.Mustachio

New member
Aug 19, 2020
12
24
IL
Very cool pipe!

Antique meerschaum is a whole different animal from briar. With anything that old I’d look to consult with someone who makes this a specialty. With luck they’ll tell you what it needs and probable cost. Ben Rapaport is a leading expert on antique meerschaums in general (he literally wrote the book) and might be able to point you in the right direction.

As for its age, the math won’t support 1826 as the year of manufacture unless it was already several generations old when your great-grandfather bought it. Always possible. Or it could have been bought by a more remote ancestor than you thought.
This is such amazing learning. I had no idea about really any of this, the only reason really that I got it is because I already smoked pipes and people were like, IDK its a pipe, give it to that guy, he likes those.... LOL
 

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lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
1,419
2,432
These are also called "lap pipes" (because of how you smoke them). The carvings most frequently feature animals, battles, and pastoral scenes. They're frequently dated... and the dates are always wrong! The meerschaum pipe industry didn't get started until the middle of the 1800s. These pipes came in around the 1890s, and were sold inexpensively as being "antique-style." They were given dye jobs (though high-end meerschaums were, too). Oh, and... they were nearly always pressed ("chip") meerschaum.

If you have access to one of the old Sears catalog reprints from the late 1800s-early 1900s, there's usually one in the pipes section.

That's one thing I really love about this forum... always learning something new about pipes and baccy. For those of us who are curious about such things, this forum can condense a vast amount of information in one spot. Thanks for the short lesson on these old meers.
 

jonasclark

Preferred Member
Aug 4, 2013
566
154
Seattle
Sears is pretty much out-of-business, unfortunately. But only a few years ago, believe it or not, their website listed some Turkish meerschaum pipes! Your local library may have these reprints; I have a 1904 one, and somewhere another from just pre-1900. Ben Rapaport's book "Collecting Antique Meerschaum Pipes" discusses these in detail.
 

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