19th C. Meerschaum Churchwarden Pipe, “Boar” Theme


Turkey, Circa 1856 c.

19 1/2"
2 1/8"
2 1/8"
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The theme of the hand carving to this 19th century meerschaum pipe is that of a full bodied boar in full stride outside of a brick house with foliage above. A floral bouquet is carved in high relief to the underside of the bowl. The rough hewn long stem is characteristic of wood from a hard root tree; the stem ends in a horned mouthpiece. Meerschaum refers to the mineral sepiolite which was soft enough to carve with, yet hard enough to ward off the ill effects of the heat and tar, both in the long term aesthetics to the bowl, and to provide the short term pleasure of a “cool” smoke. This mineral is predominantly found in Turkey and is derived from fossilized remains of sea urchins. The 19 1/2″ overall length of the pipe makes it one of the longer pipes you’ll find, and along with the meerschaum bowl and hard wooden stem, both of these factors provided ample opportunity for the smoke to cool down before reaching the smoker.
Pipes of this length are called “Churchwarden Pipes” and were made so that those smoking a pipe for a long period of time, like readers, could do so without getting smoke in their eyes.

Worth noting is the date “1856” carved into the side of the bowl, obviously to commemorate an event; possibly the Crimean war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, which ended in that year and concluded with the Treaty of Paris in March of the same year. Being that the mineral used to make Meerschaum pipes was made in Turkey; and the Ottoman empire conflict with Russia concluded the same year, it’s more than likely, not a coincidence. The boar is associated with, and is symbolic of courage, perhaps explaining the theme of the pipe, if it in fact references the Crimean war. If that be the case, the pipe would have been made in Turkey or nearby Vienna, Austria; which was known for the making of Meerschaum pipes in the mid- 1800’s..

The condition of the pipe is very good and all original. The pipe maintains its completeness, with all three indigenous parts, stem, bowl, and mouthpiece; the bowl has mellowed into a beautiful , rich, golden brown patina. There is a small chip to the top of the bowl where the stem meets it at the top front (see image). A brass fitting lines the top circumference of the bowl.

Dimensions: 19 1/2″ long x 2 1/8″ wide