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The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:04 am
by Falconeer
Hi All

When my parents first got a T.V back in 1957 I was introduced to the works of the mighty Charlie Drake, a well known comedian of the time. A round dumpy little man with a squeaky voice and long curly hair he was always a man beset by disaster and had a gift for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

In his series “The Worker” I always thought of him when I did my stint as a Jobcentre Manager – he'd try a new job each week, which never worked out, gave his address as C/O The Labour Exchange and had a standing invitation to the Staff Dance as he was such a regular customer – and we did indeed have many such customers I can assure you.

He did a couple of comic songs which got a lot of air time on the wireless, as we called the radio then. In one he was a soldier accompanying Custer to his Last Stand and when the reality of the developing situation dawned on him approached The Colonel with the request “Permission to go and change meh lebrary book?” - a line I would pinch and use whenever things got difficult when I was in the Prison Service and in another he lamented that “His Boomerang would not come back.”

I find this last coming to my mind whenever I take out my figured Sherlock Holmes Turkish Meerschaum.

A few years ago I flirted with meerschaums. But having been gifted with a somewhat impatient nature I found waiting for the cursed things to colour just too boring and reverted to briars cobs and my Falcons – eventually giving the things away....with the exception of the Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson set Rhona had commissioned for me and which we had ordered through a well known and trusted tobacconist in Scotland it's still a Hanging Offence to give away presents bought for you by your wife.

So, for over two years I've smoked this set off and on – ran American Burley through them, British moist virginias, the gloopiest aromatics I could find, latakia mixtures and in desperation Gawith's soaking wet finest flakes.

I smoked them month about, put them back in their cases and opened them up a month later to find them just as they'd been put away – only a little dirtier. I read up every Victorian tract I could find and the last experiment involved smoking the normal tobacco through a plug of well soaked evil tobacco then once again putting the pipes away for a month with the plug in situ. I rewaxed them til my aged finger ached.

Result – no change!

I cheated towards the end of last year and took to wiping Watson over with the goo from my Falcons' humidomes and achieved colour of a sort, though patchy and finally gave him a fake colour using wood touch up dye and even more wax.

Frankly Sherlock who's been left alone would have had more colour if I'd p****d on him daily!

I'm minded that the Great Morleysson was of the opinion that while pressed meerschaum probably wouldn't colour if would give a good smoke and would knock the edge of a the harshest tobacco – and in that he was right – both pipes are good smokers. I am forced to the conclusion that both pipes are in fact the said pressed meer.......a double learning experience for me.

Be careful where you buy your meers and be prepared to accept them on their smoking qualities rather than on their potential colouring qualities!

Best to all

Faux Meer 4.JPG
Faux Meer 4.JPG

Re: The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:27 am
by Hermit
I'd just as soon they didn't color.
I just like smokin' em.

Re: The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:42 pm
by englanddave
I can sympathize with you Gerry,
I've got a block meerschaum which is trying it's best not to colour no matter what I smoke in it or how often,
2 years and counting oh well such is life.

Re: The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:28 pm
by Dodger
Gerry it does not seem to matter what you do , block meerschaum colours at different rates and some do not colour at all .Price does not seem to matter either , my best coloured one was quite cheap and changed quickly .

Re: The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:39 pm
by ChuckMac
I have two meers that color very, very slowly and I have some block meers that are coloring so fast it's hard to believe. Gerry, ya nailed it. Block good for color...pressed bad. Block and pressed good for smoking.

Re: The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:23 am
by Falconeer
Spot on Chuck!

The irony of it was I'd bought about three Meers from the same shop ( and I've known the present owner since the 70s ) from the same maker, "Levante" and the others all coloured in the classic mode from the stem onwards, and Rhona wanted to get me something special for Christmas....which is why I have kept them and I do have to admit that they are good smokers.

I'll stick to African meers in future as I do have a soft spot for these ( I think it's a Brit thing ) or if I'm tempted with Turkish again will opt for one of the better known names,


Re: The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:20 am
by BladeBoy
I LOVE meerschaum pipes, African & Turkish, I have several of both, not so worried about the coloring I just love the way they smoke, better flavor, drier smoke, all tobacco is burned, none of this cake building nonsense, worry about burning the bowl, no resting, no worries in general, if I had to choose between briar and meerschaum it would surely be meerschaum, but I have never had the displeasure of owning a cheap meerschaum either.

Re: The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:50 am
by vaburp
It's quite odd this coloring thing. I bought two meerschaums several years ago,,,maybe 8 or 9, both at the same time, both carved the same year. Sisters if you will. Both Lovats, both block, same reputable carver, same size bowl, stem and length. Difference in silver band placement. I smoke the same VAs in both.

One is coloring up a storm, the other is still milky white.

Meers are like women.

Re: The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:07 pm
by bearded1
This is interesting to me. It's the first time I've heard that pressed meerschaum also smokes well. Everyone touts the smoking qualities of meer and is the stated reason for everyone owning at least one...but one is always advised to look for block and steer clear of pressed.

Why then, if pressed meerschaum smokes well but doesnt color well, is this not advertised as a selling point to those that could give two shits about coloring? Seems like a lost marketing tactic to me...the cost of pressed alone would get me to consider one for rotation even knowing it would not necessarily color.

Re: The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:08 pm
by JMB
i have tried meerschaums over the years and found also i would have to live till i was 120 :o before they coloured up.
i wanted the smoking quality of the meerschaum and not bothered with the colour so i have a couple of pipes with meerschaum
lined bowls. a compromise i suppose but i get the best of both worlds. would like to know what other members think of the
pipes with meer lined bowls.


Re: The Failed Meerschaum Smoker....

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:55 am
by Falconeer
I have two meer lined Petersons, one a 999 and the other a 998, and they both smoke well. They retain the full tobacco taste and smoke dry; the only thing about them is that they have a slightly tighter drae than a briar of the same model. It was actually the late great Morleysson who told me that pressed meer smoked well - and over the yewars I came to rerspect his judgement greatly. As I understand it too - meer lined pipes make use of 'pressed meer.

Happy smoking all and hope to be back in the UK on 18th of the month!

The Failed Meerschaum Smoker

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:53 pm
by AaronVed
It always appears to me that the bottom six or so of the ten leagues are about even in terms of the player quality level. Are they all on amateur contracts too?