Safe in a box
Meerschaum is and remains a precious material and meerschaum pipes were always carefully stored away by smokers. This rectangular wooden box is a nice example of a storage box for a large meerschaum pipe bowl in a so-called bag shape. Characteristic is the slightly overweight bowl base in a round shape and a narrower bowl top, making the pipe easy to hold during smoking. Characteristic of the period is the relatively long stem part that always rises slightly. As usual, such meerschaum pipes were fitted with a silver hinged cover with a sawn fence around the outside edge to allow the air flow into the bowl. At the other end of the pipe is a silver stem plate on which a silver ferrule for mounting the separate stem. The engraved text "V.BLÜCHER" on this silver stem indicates the proud owner of this robust pipe bowl, a member of the famous Von Blücher family. The Prussian field marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher led the conquest of Paris in 1814 and took part in the Battle of Waterloo, thus playing a dececive role in a the allied victory over Napoleon. The owner of this pipe was a serious smoker and has used his tobacco pipe for years. We can see that in the beautiful dark patina. Intentionally the top part of the meerschaum was rubbed with white wax, so that only the lower half of the pipe bowl could absorb the tobacco juce that made the fine patina.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 16.444Permalink