I was given this old lattice meerschaum pipe by a colleague at work. He knows very little about the history of this pipe that was found while he was clearing out a house. There were two other pipes with this one, a calabash and a very nice “Sultans head” carved meer. He gave me all three. Unfortunately, the Sultan was a three piece pipe and the centre part, the shank extension, was broken. More on that one later.
This little lattice cleaned up very well and smokes well too. It has been well cared for during its past life and was probably a favourite in a collection somewhere. Well smoked, there was no cake to speak of and the stem is not marked in any way. Unfortunately, there is no makers mark or signature to identify it by. A genuine lattice, the inner bowl appears to float in the outer bowl. This effect is created by the carver undercutting the outer bowl to give the impression of of a space between inner and outer. If this is not visible, it isn’t a true lattice. If it is visible, that’s a sign of quality.
I have no idea what this pipe may have cost but it wasn’t cheap. I am not so much interested in the price as I am the properties of this smoking instrument. Having tried it with my usual blend of tobacco, I am thoroughly pleased with it. It has a khaki hue to it and I am looking forward to adding some colour of my own. The stem on this one is comfortable to hold in the mouth although it is of the old school, faux amber with a large button. Nicely balanced and not too heavy, I know this old workhouse will be part of my regular rotation.