Various Types of Smoking Pipes for Smokers and Collectors
Meerschaum Pipes: Turkish block meerschaum has been renowned since the 1600s as the incomparable material for the world’s finest smoking pipes. The raw meerschaum must pass through many processes before it becomes the world's finest smoking pipe. Briar pipes: The most common of all the smoking pipes. Briar pipes can be either machine or hand-made. The space within the smoke chamber allows the smoke to cool, dry, and mellow. briar pipe, meerschaum pipes, calabash pipes
Pipe collectors and smokers have many options, with many types of smoking pipes available on the market today. The pipes in your collection can be an assortment of less expensive machine-made pipes and much more expensive and collectible handmade pipes. Although the exterior designs of smoking pipes vary, all have a tobacco chamber or bowl, a stem and a mouthpiece through which the smoke is inhaled.
Types of Smoking Pipes:
Smoking pipes are classified according to the matter and shape, which also has an influence on the aesthetics of the smoke. Three of the most common and collectible pipes are:
Meerschaum Pipes: Turkish block meerschaum has been renowned since the 1600s as the incomparable material for the world’s finest smoking pipes. The purest form of meerschaum is found in underground deposits in central Turkey near the city of Eski_ehir. Meerschaum, also known as hydrous magnesium silicate or sepiolite, is found in mines at depths from 50 to 450 feet. Excavated by experienced miners, the raw meerschaum is trimmed of exterior debris into irregularly shaped blocks. The raw meerschaum must pass through many processes before it becomes the world's finest smoking pipe. The blocks are hand sculpted into a wide variety of shapes and figures by highly-skilled carvers. High quality meerschaums are protected by a custom fitted wooden case lined in velvet.
Meerschaum is lightweight, incombustible and very porous. It gives the truest taste of your tobacco, while providing a cool dry smoke. It is very porous and absorbs byproducts of the tobacco during smoking process, and gradually changes color over time to various shades of brown. The finished pipes are prized as works of art and may remain un-smoked in collections.
Briar pipes: The most common of all the smoking pipes. Briar pipes can be either machine or hand-made. The briarwood is obtained from the root burl of the Erica arborea (tree heath) found growing on the mountain sides of Mediterranean countries. Each burl contains different density of briar. After the burl is trimmed, cut into smaller blocks, and cured, each block is graded according to the density of the grain. The tighter grained blocks are the most expensive.
Briar is a hard wood and difficult to carve figures other than classic and free hand shapes. The formation of a carbon layer or “cake” on the interior walls of the bowl is necessary to protect the briar from burning. Some briars are coated with a special carbon slurry formula to protect the bowl as the protective cake is forming. High quality pre-owned briars are reconditioned and actively traded by collectors.
Calabash Pipes: The smoke chamber of the classic calabash is made from African gourds, though other wood such as mahogany or briar can be used. Those made of gourds are the most expensive and collectible. The tobacco bowl is an insert made of meerschaum or porcelain. The space within the smoke chamber allows the smoke to cool, dry, and mellow. However, the amount of suction needed to draw the smoke is greater than a conventional tobacco pipe.
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