By Al Jones
I am not a collector of meerschaums and indeed this is only the second meerschaum that I’ve owned. However I couldn’t resist when a pipe forum friend notified me about this carved bent Billiard shape, complete with a brass rondell on eBay. While not a restoration, I thought readers of the blog might find this GBD interesting.
According to Pipepedia, the three principals of GBD: Ganneval, Bondier and Donninger established the firm to the making of meerschaum pipes. Most fans of the brand know GBD for their briar pipes or perhaps meerschaum lined pipes. This is the first carved GBD meerschaum pipe that I have encountered. Typically, the GBD meerschaum pipes I have seen on Ebay or elsewhere are colored and don’t have the brass rondell. Those pipes, which are not usually carved, are thought to be made from African or Tanganyika meerschaum. This type of meerschaum is considered to be inferior to Turkish meer.
A Google search yielded only one similar, carved GBD meerschaum which was sold by SmokingPipes. They advertised the pipe as a “Turkish” estate. The carving, color and stem are very close in appearance to the pipe that I purchased.
The pipe arrived in excellent condition and very clean inside. I had read several of Steve Laugs articles on cleaning meerschaum pipes but nothing was required to this one.
The carvings are very similar to those found on SMS meerschaum pipes but I’m not sure if that is a SMS trademark or just a typical meerschaum carving technique.
The pipe as delivered, which included a nice, fitted, leather case. I’ve smoked it once and found the draw, stem and button to quite comfortable. I have wondered if the pipe would be improved with the addition of a proper vulcanite stem, like a George Dibos could create (and move the GBD brass rondell).