Judging by the figure's head gear I would say it represents a 16th century german nobleman. The work is so much better than any "Turk Head" I have seen before. The coloring ... I was about to congratulate you on that, as it takes such a quality meer to be able to get that coloring, but since it is not authentic ... well a pity. Nice piece no the less. I am curios of your impression upon smoking.
Thanks. This artificial coloring job was extremely common on late-1800s meerschaums, including many really high-quality ones. Your suggestion that it might be a 16th Century German nobleman turned out, I think, to be spot-on; the hat matches exactly to a type of beret, popular in that time period, termed a "landsknecht," also called a "starfish" beret, which is floppy like a tam o'shanter, but has the 'vents' around the edge. Now, if I could only figure out who, unless it IS just 'in the style of,' which is possible.
On the matter of identifying the subject of this Meerschaum figural, I'd guess as with paintings, some were actual portraits or representations of historical figures or figures from theatrical plays. But as with paintings, there were also portraits that more represented a class, nationality, and even citizens of a particular region or city that were composites, not specific individuals. My guess is that this is one of those.
The tortoiseshell lucite doesn't really approximate amber, but I really love it. Top-notch workmanship. A few days before these came back, I had a thought: wouldn't it be nice if the small pipe had a longer stem? The original was very short. To my surprise, that's exactly what Ric did.
I have several meerschaums, two cheapos and one rather nice one. The figure would be Bacchus I believe. I talked my first wife into buying this for me for my birthday one time. Probably the reason we aren't together anymore. I still have the pipe.