Posted on

Carved meerschaums from Smokiana pipeshop

Carved meerschaum pipes

Carved meerschaum cigar holders are extremely popular and sought after by collectors. The craftsmanship of the trained carvers is sometimes beyond belief in their detailed and realistic creations. Many pipes are more likely to be an exhibition piece than a pipe to be used, but instead, they all have been smoked as you can see in the fine coloring of the patina.

The fashion of the meerschaum cigar holders, emerging in 1860, continues to flourish up to the 1920’s. In practically every household a meerschaum pipe could be found, although in the upper-class it was a commodity for daily use, while otherwise it was regarded as the Sunday’s pipe.

Most common are the cigar holders with carved claws, horses and dogs; they are made by the millions and spread over Western-Europe. Special designs were made by gifted artists who could invent unexpected scenes they carved in single copies.

In the early 1900’s the cigar pipe was gradually overrun by the cigarette and consequently the cigarette pipe. This should be mass-produced and therefore less artistic, without the realism in design and going down in quality. During the Interbellum this product vanished from the market and nowadays a meerschaum pipe is mainly a piece of curiosity. Especially tourists coming back from Turkey tend to take a meerschaum pipe as a souvenir.