Posted 12 months ago
a mineral, hydrous magnesium silicate, H 4 Mg 2 Si 3 O 1 0 , occurring in white, claylike masses, used for ornamental carvings, for pipe bowls, etc.; sepiolite.
2.a tobacco pipe with a bowl made of this substance.
Origin:1775–85; < German Meerschaum, equivalent to Meer sea (see mere2 ) + Schaum foam.
Meerschaum is a relative rare substance in pristine useable form . There are only 3 locations world wide the substance can be found in any quantity which is useable for carving .
Meerschaum Pipes are the aristocracy of tobacco smoking pipes. Meerschaum has been used for the construction of pipe tobaccos dating back to the 1700s. During the 1800s, exquisite meerschaum pipes were produced in many European countries, including Vienna, Germany and Switzerland.
Meerschaum is opaque and of white, grey or cream color, breaking with a conchoidal or fine earthy fracture, and occasionally fibrous in texture. Due to the fact it can be readily scratched with the nail, its hardness is ranked at about 2 on the Mohs Scale. The specific gravity varies from 0.988 to 1.279, but the porosity of the mineral may lead to error. Meerschaum is a hydrous magnesium silicate having the chemical formula Mg4Si6O15(OH)2·6H2O. Most of the meerschaum of commerce is obtained chiefly from the plain of Eski?ehir in Turkey, between Istanbul and Ankara. It occurs there in irregular nodular masses, in alluvial deposits, which are extensively worked for its extraction. It is said that in this district there are 4000 shafts leading to horizontal galleries for extraction of the meerschaum. The principal workings are at Sepetçi Oca?? and Kemikçi Oca??, about 20 miles southeast of Eski?ehir. The mineral is associated with magnesite (magnesium carbonate), the primitive source of both minerals being a serpentine.
For several hundred years Turkey allowed uncut blocks of MEERSCHAUM to be exported retaliative cheaply. THE country has over 80% of the useable Quality substance in the world. At one time Germany and other Western country's had Artist form their countries make beautiful carved pipes. in the 20th century Turkey began making restrictions on exports of any thing but Carved pipes. .Due to the financial loss of allowing other countries to Carve the pipes making them worth Hundreds of times more valuable as a finished item.
THE value of a carved high Quality pipe is that the tars and nicotine are absorbed into the fine pores of the material. After many years the pipes turn from brilliant white to a soft mahogany or reddish color making them even more valuable.
in the 1700 and 1800s royalty and rich Europeans would pay MONKS and Priest to smoke the pipes continuously and also furnish the tobacco So that the Color change would occur in several years instead of a lifetime .The owners then would have a bit more prestige because of the MAHOGANY color some pipes in the 1700s and 1800s were very ornate and small . THE carvings were often times of horses cattle sheep a dainty women an occasional warrior. average pipe size was less than 2.5 inches with a carved AMBER Stem usually a inch or so long . The bowls were seldom larger than a small marble or a dime . THEY were called cheroot pipes Cheroots are traditional in Burma and India, consequently, popular among the British during the days of the British Empire. They are often associated with Burma in literature:
" An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot:"
THE main source of modern Meerschaum in high quality from 1965 to 1999 were signed and numbered of exquisite Quality and made of the highest quality Turkish MEERSCHAUM . CAO - Bekler Collection: An entire collection of vintage CAO Meerschaums, carved by the renown Master Carver Ismet Bekler.WHO has PERMISSION to bring uncared blocks from Turkey . HE made THE CA PY FAMOUS world wide in just a few years. THE PIPE PUB Chain of tobacco stores in the USA could not keep up with demand at times with the limited edition signed and numbered pipes going for well over $1500. in the 1970s.
I once traded 3 BEKLER PIPES for A 3 yr old JEEP CHEROKEE CHIEF WITH 40,000 miles on it , Valued at 9,500. The pipes cost me just over $1700 from an estate in 1982
In Somalia and Djibouti, meerschaum is used to make the dabqaad, a traditional incense burner. The mineral is mined in the district of El Buur, the latter of which serves as a center for quarrying. El Buur is also the place of origin of the local pipe-making industry.
I have a collection currently of 11 pipes by BEKLER
Imitations are made in plaster of Paris and other preparations.
The soft, white, earthy mineral from Långbanshyttan, in Värmland, Sweden, known as aphrodite (Greek: sea foam), is closely related to meerschaum.
THERE WAS A TONE TIME A MEERSCHAUM pipe carved for and sold by the PIPE PUB which was a Guinness BOOK ITEM AS the LARGEST single piece of MEERSCHAUM ever carved as a pipe IN 1978 it was valued at $10,000with guarantee to increase every year for 20 years at 2500 per year. It was shipped around America to all pipe pub shops THE figure was a full relief Ancient Turkish Rider on a ARMORED saddled horse THE RIDER was ARMED with SPEAR , SHIELD and