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Silver Spigot Meerschaum

October 19, 2008

I have eight meerschaum pipes. This one is my new silver spigot meerschaum from Sinan Altinok of altinokpipes.com. There is a link to his site in the right hand sidebar on this page and if you haven’t been to visit yet, then you have missed out on something.

ME634 This is one of three meerschaum pipes I ordered this summer. The other two will be posted here at a later date.
This meer is lovely. It smokes excellently. The chamber is big enough to accommodate a large helping of tobacco. It measures some 21 mm in diameter and is 41 mm deep. The outer dimensions are equally ample. The beautifully rounded bowl is 52 mm in diameter and sits well in my hand. The assembled pipe measures 152 mm from tip to bowl front. The curvature makes it a well balanced pipe that is easy to hold in the mouth or the hand. The silver makes a worthy decoration and is as pleasant to look at as it is functional. All in all, a masterpiece of a pipe and the maker of this particular pipe, Mr. Nedim Altinay, is to be congratulated.

The picture presented here is lifted from Mr. Altinok’s site. I hope he will forgive me for reproducing his pictures again!

Meerschaum is a magnesium silicate. It is not clay or china nor is it stone as such. It is found in Turkey and East Africa but the best quality meerschaum comes from around Eskisihir in Turkey. Being porous it will absorb the oils and tars that are produced when tobacco burns and the material will take colour with time. Meerschaum pipes dot not, however, pick up and pass on the taste of tobacco as briar pipes do. This means that one will only taste the tobacco one is smoking and not that which one has smoked previously in the pipe. Unlike briar pipes, meerschaum pipes do not require the accumulation of “cake” in the bowl that a briar does. In fact, cake is one of those things I will not tolerate in my meers and I make a habit of cleaning the bowl after every smoke. Meerschaum pipes require no breaking in either, which makes them ideal for first time pipe smokers. Worth knowing if anyone asks you what to buy when they decide to start smoking a pipe.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2008 00:25

    What a beautiful meer you have there.
    I too am a fan of meerschaum pipes for the newbie, not just so they can sample any type of tobacco they want, but also because they don’t need to let the pipe “rest” between smokes.

    For those just starting out, they can buy one pipe until they are ready to move on and not be hampered by the “rest” that is required by briar pipes.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. October 23, 2008 09:03

    That is a great looking meer. At first glance I thought it might be an IMP, then I noticed the metal work. Beautiful.

    I love meers of more classic or traditional shapes like that one. I am happy to hear it smokes well for you.

    Nice blog too btw.

    Thankyou Sir, both for the compliment and the comment.
    Exile.

  3. October 24, 2008 07:57

    The pipe shape plus your description about meer material has made me come to a decision to buy one.

    Enjoy puffing

    And thankyou, Sir. Glad to have been of some inspiration to you. Enjoy your meer. I hope it will bring you as much pleasure as mine does for me. Let me know what you get and how it works out.
    Exile.

  4. November 2, 2008 18:14

    Congratulations on the new meer, it is quite beautiful and the silverwork sets it apart well.

    At times I tend to be a bit clumsy so generally stick with briar, but I do have two meers which I greatly enjoy on occasion.

  5. John Sargent permalink
    November 22, 2009 05:55

    I have been a pipe smoker since my early 20’s (now 52) & discovered meer pipes only a couple of years into my pipe smoking “career”. At the time I owned & smoked 7 briar pipes, which I rotated daily. Upon my first meer purchase, I immediately retired the briars & haven’t looked back! Although it was a lesser expensive meer (about $30) I enjoyed its superior smoke-ability & the fact that I didn’t need a whole collection of pipes. The process of coloring was an added bonus. Over the years I have purchased several meerschaum pipes, each a little better quality than the previous, & have continued to enjoy the pleasure of smoking my favorite tobacco blend.
    About 3 years ago I discovered Sinan Altinok’s pipes & decided to make a purchase from him. I was & am still extremely satisfied with my decision! My newest meerschaum (the Umbrella Calabash, carved by master carver Medet Kara) is by far the most splendid pipe I have ever had the pleasure of owning & smoking! Although it is not one of the most expensive pipes on the Altinok website, it is a beautiful piece of artwork & the most pleasant smoking pipe I have ever owned. I look forward to purchasing again from Mr. Altinok in the near future.

    Hi John, and welcome here. I have purchased pipes from Sinan Altinok and have only good things to say about him. Your conversion to meers does not surprise me. I am very fond of my small collection of them. Colouring them is a life long project.
    Thanks for commenting here sir. Now, where did I put my big meer..?
    Exile.

  6. Kypros Christodoulides permalink
    May 3, 2010 20:39

    Hello there,
    I’m new to this blog and I find it very exciting that pipe smokers can get together and exchange views on anything pipe.
    Yesterday, Exile answered some questions I had about pipes and I’m very gratefull to him. Such an approachable charming gentleman.
    My view about meers is that while being very good and dry and cool they really do not compare with good briars. I have a meer I bought from e-bay, made in Eskisehir Turkey. I’m smoking it right now after reading the above but I do really fail to see any similarity to a good briar pipe. All day long I smoke a reasonably good brebbia at work and believe me I long to get home to smoke my good pipes. sometimes I’m dreaming of the moment I light my upshall or my dunhill. I just cannot see myself running home in anticipation to light up the meerschaum. It would indeed make a good utility pipe for all day long since it doesn’t need to rest, but I would feel somewhat embarrassed to be seen smoking a carved pipe in the shape of a head in public, also it’s not as satisfying. Maybe I’m missing something here. Please would someone try to enlighten me ?
    Thank you for a great site.

    It will be interesting to see what answers we get. If necessary, I may present a post devoted to this subject.
    Exile

  7. Gregory permalink
    May 22, 2010 07:13

    Looks like http://www.altinokpipes.com/ is having a summer sale! Very tempting…

    Indeed it is. I took Sinan up on his offer two years ago. I was not disappointed!
    Exile.

  8. April 29, 2012 21:19

    I have 11 meerschaum pipes and nowadays I have an ultimate pipe provider : http://www.storientmeerschaumpipes.com Meerschaum Pipes are my favorite type of pipes however I can find briar pipes more easily in France. One day I hope to visit turkey and buy at least 10 meerschaum pipes because I believe that they will be cheaper there.

    Aldrich Lonell

    If you visit Turkey, then go to Eskeshir, which is where the meersschaum is mined. There are very good pipe carvers in the area. Thanks for your comment.
    Exile.

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