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Meerschaum Questions

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J_Rock

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I have a few questions about meer pipes. I recently received an estate meer pipe in a trade and have been really enjoying it. I am now looking to buy a new one. I have been researching on line a little too. What is a quality brand or a good online site to buy from? What should I also stay away from?

Thanks in advance,
Jeff
 

adauria

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The 2 names that usually come up around meers are IMP and CAO. My only meer is a CAO bulldog that I love. IMP is almost always spoken well of as well.

I would be wary of buying no-name meers off of eBay, however, as (I have heard) much of that is not genuine Turkish block meerschaum.

I want to say my wife bought my meer (as a gift) from cupojoes.com or smokingpipes.com (it's been a few years). Whichever company it was gladly accepted an exchange on the first one they sent me (unsmoked) because I didn't like the positioning of the draught hole. They were a pleasure to do business with (whichever one it was :) )

-Andrew
 

Wet Dottle

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I have one IMP pipe, a straight billiard. It does not pass the pipe cleaner test! This is the only straight pipe that I ever came across that does not pass the test. Very disappointing...
 

mark

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a friend has two bulldog meers by fikri baki and loves them, open draw and well made.
 

jj1015

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I've gone through a number of no-name meers over the years, and they were uniformly disappointing. This year, however, I ended up buying two gorgeous IMPs. They are INCREDIBLE. They smoke cooler than any of my briars (even the high end ones) or even cobs, they don't "ghost," and I can smoke them as often as I like with no maintenance issues.

Really, I can't recommend them enough.
 

Mikem

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I have done business with Altinok Pipes for a couple of years now. They sell IMP Meerschaums and have several carvers who I think exclusively carve for them. I just purchased a Sevket Gezer. All of their pipes have the push on tenons instead of the "screw-on" stems like you see in a lot of meerschaums. His prices are also very reasonable IMHO. His site is: http://altinokpipe.com/
 

Natch

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I've also got a signed Sevket, one of his earlier pipes (mid-90s I think). Very ornate and just starting to color nice, but it's not in my rotation. For some reason I've fallen off meers. I'd put it up on eBay, but there's so much junk right now that most couldn't tell a good meer from poorly carved bird shit! :roll: Heed Andrews advice and be careful if you buy meers on eBay.

Natch
 

howellhandmade

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I agree with the recommendation for Fikri Baki pipes. It is puzzling that so many meerschaum pipes are beautifully carved by prodigiously talented artisans but are inferior smoking instruments. Thick, uncomfortable bits, strangled airways, high drilling. Baki's pipes are very well made with an open draw and comfortable bits. I have five, and one, a silver-mounted bent ball, may be my favorite pipe. I have owned meers by Altinok, IMP, and SMS, and cannot recommend them based on my experience.
 

puros_bran

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Altinok has some very decent prices on a pipe that, if cared for, will last longer than you do.

IMP seems to be an industry leader with their push/pull tenon. That would be the big thing for me, if its a screw in stem, no thanks. Most of those Meers on ebay are pressed meer with screw in tenons..argg.

Pressed meer works better than alot of folk will admit, but it won't color, you could smoke it for 100 years, it just wont color. From what I've been able to gather most Calabash pipes use the pressed meer instead of the block meer, and people still love em.
 

howellhandmade

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Perhaps things have changed in the three or four years since I bought (and sold) my Altinok and IMP meers, but both companies used the same tenon. Push-in, yes, but miserably small, too small to be drilled out. The reasoning is clear -- since meerschaum can be delicate, the more material you leave in the shank the better. The smaller the tenon diameter, the more room left over for meerschaum. The tenons Baki uses are larger, and, if you favor an open draw, produce a superior smoking instrument.
 

puros_bran

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Oh I wasn't arguing your point.... Maybe right, I've never smoked one of Baki's pipes.
I just know the IMP's I purchased from Altinok where far better than CAO's, no names, etc etc etc and the price for the experience was well within reason.
 

Mikem

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I agree that the Imp and Altinok Meers have the smaller (than normal briar pipes) tenons but have really not experienced any draw issues or broken shank issues. They are still better IMHO than the screw on tenon type of Meers (of which I have two). The drilling has been very good on the Imp's/Altinok pipes that I own of which most were purchased in the last several years. I too have no experience with the Baki Meers.
 
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