Pristine and Ivory white, meerschaum pipes will be a great addition to any tobacco pipe collection. Made from a hardened clay-like material, meerschaum smoking pipes were all the rage since at least the 1700s. The primary material used for luxury pipes before the discovery of briar, people clamored for a meerschaum pipe. While the popular tobacco pipe is being made of briar now, meerschaum smoking pipes are still in demand for many reasons.
First and foremost, meerschaum is a very porous material. That allows it to act as a natural filter, which allowed anyone using a tobacco pipe made of it to enjoy a much cooler and dryer smoke than you would otherwise get.
Second, meerschaum tobacco pipes are flavor neutral. This means you will only taste the tobacco in the smoke. Briar can impart its own flavor onto your tobacco, so a meerschaum pipe is the best way to really know how the tobacco you chose tastes.
Third, meerschaum is incredibly shapeable. Because of how porous it is, master sculptors have been able to take blocks of meerschaum and create amazing works. You can find pipes in the shape of heads, animals, or simply have intricate designs etched into the pipe. You will be smoking a bowl out of a piece of art when you use a meerschaum pipe.
The best part of a meerschaum pipe though has to be its coloring. As it ages and gets used, the meerschaum transforms, darkening from its ivory white beginning until it has a rich, dark golden brown color. This color comes from its absorptive qualities, as it takes in the excess oils and tars from the tobacco and gradually brings that to the outside of the meerschaum. A darkly colored meerschaum smoking pipe looks incredible and will be an impressive addition to your collection.
You can learn more about meerschaum tobacco pipes here.