GBD Meerschaum Pipe


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.

GBD_Carved_Meerschaum_Brass_Rondell

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).

GBD_Meerschaum_Bent_Billiard_Gallery

GBD_Meerschaum_Bent_Billiard (4)

GBD_Meerschaum_Bent_Billiard (3)

GBD_Meerschaum_Bent_Billiard (5)

GBD_Meerschaum_Bent_Billiard (2)

GBD_Meerschaum_Bent_Billiard (6)

GBD_Meerschaum_Bent_Billiard (7)

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4 thoughts on “GBD Meerschaum Pipe

  1. Robert M. Boughton

    Al, great blog! I love GBDs and meerschaums, and that is a beauty. The patina is forming just as it should, around the little swirls first. It’s a wonderful lattice pipe. Whatever you do, don’t replace the stem! The stem, which is yellow Lucite, identifies it as from the ’70s at least, and the case looks older. Besides, I imagine it’s a screw-in, which would be a hassle, to say the least, to replace. And as a serious meerschaum collector, I almost always prefer Lucite to vulcanite! Beautiful! Now I want one!

    Robert

    Reply
      1. upshallfan Post author

        Thanks Robert. The stem is definitely acrylic. GBD did restart using brass rondells but I do believe this one would most likely be from prior to 1981 and the Comoys merger. I will probably let well enough alone (unless I find a donor stem/rondell).

        Reply

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