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.

Meerschaum Classic Smoking Pipe Durable Classic Tobacco Cigarettes Cigar Pipes
Meerschaum Classic Smoking Pipe Durable Classic Tobacco Cigarettes Cigar Pipes
$6.99
Antique Carved Maiden Bust Head Meerschaum Pipe C1880 and Case
Antique Carved Maiden Bust Head Meerschaum Pipe C1880 and Case
$187.59
CASED MEERSCHAUM ESTATE PIPE
CASED MEERSCHAUM ESTATE PIPE
$33.87
Native american apache Pipe Block Meerschaum NEW W CASEtamper
Native american apache Pipe Block Meerschaum NEW W CASEtamper
$155.00
Judds Very Nice Genuine Meerschaum Block Claw Pipe in Fitted Case
Judds Very Nice Genuine Meerschaum Block Claw Pipe in Fitted Case
$51.50
Judds Very Nice Meerschaum Carved Sultan Head Pipe in Fitted Case
Judds Very Nice Meerschaum Carved Sultan Head Pipe in Fitted Case
$9.99
Pegasus Medallion Churchwarden by KUDRET Meerschaum Pipe in a fitted Case 7626
Pegasus Medallion Churchwarden by KUDRET Meerschaum Pipe in a fitted Case 7626
$275.00
Alien Skull Block Meerschaum Pipe by I Baglan in a fit case 7614
Alien Skull Block Meerschaum Pipe by I Baglan in a fit case 7614
$275.00
XL HORSE Pipe BY SADIK YANIK Block Meerschaum NEW W CASE
XL HORSE Pipe BY SADIK YANIK Block Meerschaum NEW W CASE
$275.00
Large Turkish Meerschaum Estate Pipe With Windcap
Large Turkish Meerschaum Estate Pipe With Windcap
$20.70
Nicely Done Estate Sultan Head Meerschaum
Nicely Done Estate Sultan Head Meerschaum
$19.95
Vintage Hand Carved Meerschaum Estate Pipe Wild Bucking Bronco Horse
Vintage Hand Carved Meerschaum Estate Pipe Wild Bucking Bronco Horse
$129.99
Large Estate Lion Head Meerschaum
Large Estate Lion Head Meerschaum
$14.95
1xWooden Enchas+1x Meerschaum Smoking Pipe Tobacco Cigarettes Cigar Pipes Gift
1xWooden Enchas+1x Meerschaum Smoking Pipe Tobacco Cigarettes Cigar Pipes Gift
$11.99
Tear Drop Hand Carved Block Meerschaum Pipe in a fitted CASE 7368
Tear Drop Hand Carved Block Meerschaum Pipe in a fitted CASE 7368
$195.00

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.