So - Why Meerschaum?

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BROBS

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Nov 13, 2019
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Meerschaum, because concrete just isn't as pretty. puffy
I have a huge piece of pipestone that a member here gave me that I really ought to do something with. But, it is a much heavier material.
I need to get me a meer though.
bamboo shank to a pipestone bowl?
 

jiminks

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Aug 31, 2012
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If only they would stay white or fully color faster. I didn't find them to smoke any better or worse than briar. They're somewhat fragile and if you want the finish to look nice, you need to handle them somewhat carefully. I think they're kind of ugly when they are partially colored (which most are as the time it takes for them to fully color is long). I do admire the amazing carves many Meers have. I may eventually get another one just as a novelty.
I used to know a guy who could completely color a group 3 or 4 meer in about eight months. He'd smoke one meer about ten times a day, Every day until it completely colored. then, he'd buy another and start over. Some times, they looked like a red-brown wood briar by the time he finished. I don't know how he did that.
 

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gervais

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Sep 4, 2019
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I have looked into them, but briar is just more practical and I love grain patterns too much. Maybe someday though
 
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BROBS

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Nov 13, 2019
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I used to know a guy who could completely color a group 3 or 4 meer in about eight months. He'd smoke one meer about ten times a day, Every day until it completely colored. then, he'd buy another and start over. Some times, they looked like a red-brown wood briar by the time he finished. I don't know how he did that.
some guys smoke them.. get them real hot, then when 99% done with the bowl set the whole thing in a popcorn or mixing bowl, blow the mixing bowl full of smoke, and then cover it until all the smoke is gone. I just wouldn't eat popcorn out of it right after. :ROFLMAO:
 

danimalia

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Sep 2, 2015
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I don't know why meerschaum, but I'm fixin' to find out as I just ordered my first ever meer from the 'bay. I know I'm taking a bit of a gamble doing that but i tried to follow some advice in terms of what to look for and spent a bit of money. I've been admiring the Weez and others' meer Cuttys, so that's what I got, though the bowl doesn't have much cant to it.

Looking forward to trying it out!
 

danimalia

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Sep 2, 2015
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If only they would stay white or fully color faster. I didn't find them to smoke any better or worse than briar. They're somewhat fragile and if you want the finish to look nice, you need to handle them somewhat carefully. I think they're kind of ugly when they are partially colored (which most are as the time it takes for them to fully color is long). I do admire the amazing carves many Meers have. I may eventually get another one just as a novelty.
Tend to agree with you regarding the partial coloring. It can look kinda dirty, IMO. I mostly got mine for the unique smoking characteristics, if any.

I like them because the material is novel. It feels lighter than it should be. It’s not flammable, which is a great choice for a pipe. If it was less fragile, it would be perfect.

I find that the export restrictions lead to a smaller selection of pipes than I would like, but I finally found what I wanted with altinay.
I saw some Altinay pipes while searching and my god, what carvings!
 
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smudgersmissingleg

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Jun 9, 2018
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Smokingpipes.com has an interesting article about meerschaum pipes on its website. One of the bits that caught my eye:

'There are stories of wealthy men a hundred or more years ago who hired people to smoke their meerschaums for them around the clock to promote coloring.'

Now that's the sort of work/job I could get behind. :)

I'm loving mine, so much so I've already picked out the next 2. All I have to do now is win the lottery, which I plan on getting round to doing very soon.


Henri of Bourbon, Count of Chambord smoking set
Impressive smoking set offered to Henri of Bourbon, Duke of Bordeaux, Count of Chambord, legitimist pretender to the throne of France as “Henri V”, by his supporters at the occasion of his wedding anniversary.

The case containing a pipe, a tobacco box and tools, in meerschaum, amber, ivory, silver and iron to the Arms of France.
The box cover shows a painting of the couple at his wedding ceremony in 1846 with the Princess of Modena.
It wears inside the inscription “la chambre nuptiale” together with a photo of his portrait.

France circa 1850.

Price and additional photos on request.

16725
167261672716728

Then I'll probably get this one:

The set contains everything for a travelling gentleman’s smoking needs in the early 1800s. This includes a large meerschaum pipe bowl (meerschaum is a clay like material), a choice of three stems and seven mouthpieces, one tinder pouch with steel flint attached (to light the pipe), one ivory tamper in the shape of a finger (to pack tobacco into the pipe bowl), and one long slender bristle brush for cleaning the pipe.

16729
16730
16731
 

Casual

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Oct 3, 2019
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I saw some Altinay pipes while searching and my god, what carvings!

I went with a smooth bent billiard with plenty of wall thickness, because I found the cheaper meers have thin walls, which sucks. And the silver spigot! Thick, and beautifully made. Silver on silver fitment, unlike many briar silver spigots where the stem fits into the wood of the shank. Really solid.
 

cshubhra

Preferred Member
Meers will color eventually - I have put in about 70/80 smokes to two of my Meerschaums, and they are showing nice color, but I estimate I need to put in around 250-300 smokes in them to become reasonably brown.

The one I am smoking right now as I type - The shank has turned light brown, and the bowl is like a very light cafe latte.

There are ways to accelerate the color, but that always raise fierce debates here.

EDIT - Added photo

1679216794
 
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brian64

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Jan 31, 2011
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When I purchased my first meer, I was curious due to the standard assertions I kept seeing posted...they don't ghost like briars...they don't need rest like briars...they smoke cooler than briars...etc.

Now after several years and several meers, I would say there is a grain of truth to the above, but not in any dramatic way. As others have said, they can ghost, but not as easily...some still insist briars need to be rested, others say they don't.

As for smoking cooler, I don't think this is really true...it's an issue primarily of smoking technique...and to some degree also the quality of the pipe regardless of meer or briar.

In the end, I do prefer meers...but there isn't really any specific reason other than the feel and look of them appeal to me more than briars.
 
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