Meerschaum pipes are some of the most decorative pipes available. Due to the ease at which meerschaum can be carved, it is relatively easy to carve a wide array of shapes.

MISSOURI Meerschaum  UNSMOKED  Corn Cob Smokestack Estate Pipe c42
MISSOURI Meerschaum UNSMOKED Corn Cob Smokestack Estate Pipe c42
$20.00
PIPEHUB COM Real Gourd Block Meerschaum Large Calabash Pipe With Stand
PIPEHUB COM Real Gourd Block Meerschaum Large Calabash Pipe With Stand
$250.00
Lot x Three Vintage Meerschaum Lined Tobacco Pipes For Reconditioning Use
Lot x Three Vintage Meerschaum Lined Tobacco Pipes For Reconditioning Use
$12.19
PART OF RARE ANTIQUE CARVED MEERSCHAUM 1810
PART OF RARE ANTIQUE CARVED MEERSCHAUM 1810
$90.00
Foldable Stand Meerschaum Smoking Pipe Plastic Cigarette Cigar Rack Holder GL
Foldable Stand Meerschaum Smoking Pipe Plastic Cigarette Cigar Rack Holder GL
$0.99
TIGER  DEER Meerschaum Pipe Smoking W CASE 1789 NEW
TIGER DEER Meerschaum Pipe Smoking W CASE 1789 NEW
$85.00
Meerschaum CIGAR HOLDER SET Pipe Tobacco 40 to 60 ring
Meerschaum CIGAR HOLDER SET Pipe Tobacco 40 to 60 ring
$98.50
Vintage Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob Tobacco Pipe
Vintage Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob Tobacco Pipe
$14.99
Pipe Smoking Pirate Block Meerschaum Pipe Bandana Sale Pipes Gift Case ebay 8880
Pipe Smoking Pirate Block Meerschaum Pipe Bandana Sale Pipes Gift Case ebay 8880
$165.00
IMP Meerschaum Pipe Upie Sitter Hand Carved in a fitted CASE I1289
IMP Meerschaum Pipe Upie Sitter Hand Carved in a fitted CASE I1289
$295.00
IMP Meerschaum Pipe Pit Stop Hand Carved in a fitted CASE I1290
IMP Meerschaum Pipe Pit Stop Hand Carved in a fitted CASE I1290
$325.00
IMP Meerschaum Pipe Rigosa Hand Carved in a fitted CASE I1292
IMP Meerschaum Pipe Rigosa Hand Carved in a fitted CASE I1292
$295.00
IMP Meerschaum Pipe Sherlock Hand Carved in a fitted CASE I1298
IMP Meerschaum Pipe Sherlock Hand Carved in a fitted CASE I1298
$295.00
TOP QUALITY ORIGINAL AFRICAN GOURD BLOCK MEERSCHAUM BOWL CALABASH TOBACCO PIPE
TOP QUALITY ORIGINAL AFRICAN GOURD BLOCK MEERSCHAUM BOWL CALABASH TOBACCO PIPE
$405.00
Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob Tobacco Pipe and filters
Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob Tobacco Pipe and filters
$12.99

Meerschaum is actually hydrated magnesium silicate, a mineral which is found in shallow deposits. It's largely found around the Turkish city of Eskisehir and is valued for its plasticity, allowing it to be easily carved. This gives rise to a high number of decorative and figural shapes.

Meerschaum has been used in pipe making since the 17th century and along with clay, was the most common material for pipe production until the introduction of briar in the 19th century. The word meerschaum actually translates to sea foam in German, pointing towards its natural white color and surprisingly low weight.

A very porous mineral, meerschaum absorbs parts of the tobacco during smoking, gradually changing color to a more golden brown. The older, often smoked meerschaum pipes are actually prized due to this distinctive coloring.

When choosing a meerschaum pipe it's advisable to make sure that the pipe is actually carved from a solid block of meerschaum, as they can be made from meerschaum dust. This is collected after carving from a block, mixed with an emulsifier, and then finally pressed into a pipe shape. This process produces pipes that are not absorbent, therefore not coloring and lacking the quality smoke you get from a block carved pipe.