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My Finest Meerschaum

March 1, 2008

2dragons.jpgThis is a beauty! And after four years of gentle smoking, it is beginning to colour around the shank. I bought it at a pipe smoking championship in Barcelona from Clive Humm. It is hand carved by Sevket Gezer, of Turkey. It is signed by him. The bowl is enclosed in an outer bowl which is decorated by a latticework around the top. The main decoration is of two dragons, one on either side and a floral design from the top of the bowl to the shank. It smokes beautifully and always to the bottom.

Being a bit wary of meerschaum, I always wash my hands before filling it and lighting up. Any smoker of meerschaum pipes will tell you that by smoking a meerschaum with dirty fingers you will leave a fingerprint on the pipe that cannot be removed. Meerschaum is porous and will absorb sweat. Normally this will dry out with no problem, but if your fingers are dirty and sweaty, then you have damaged the pipe for ever.

Another common belief is that meerschaum is fragile. It may be more fragile than a briar pipe but it is not as fragile as normal clay pipes. Actually, it is a fairly robust material, but don’t get your meerschaum wet. It will dissolve.

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