Cleaning up a Nording Rusticated Meerschaum Pot Made on the Isle of Man

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is another one of the pipes that Jeff and I picked up on our recent Alberta trip. It is the second pipe down on the far right column in the photo below. It is a rusticated Eric Nording Meerschaum Pot with a tapered bit. I have circled it in red in the photo below to make its identification easier.The pipe has a rustic finish on the bowl with a flumed rim top and down the top edges of the bowl. The bowl itself has already picked up some colour/patina or perhaps it came that way. There is an unmarked brass ferrule on the shank end. The shank itself is lined with a Delrin tube – this together with the ferrule add strength to the shank. The pipe had been lightly smoked with the bottom two thirds of the bowl raw meerschaum. There is some darkening around the top third of the bowl. The pipe smelled like tobacco but was unidentifiable as to type. The stem was vulcanite and had an N stamped on the top of the tapered stem. The tapered stem is shaped to give the appearance of a military bit. It has an integral tenon in the vulcanite stem. I took photos of the pipe before I did the cleanup. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem surface. You can see the condition of the rim top and bowl in the first photo. There was some lava overflow on the rim top on the left and rear of the bowl. There were also some nicks around the inner edge of the bowl and some on the rim top. There was a thin cake on the top third of the bowl. The stem showed some tooth chatter on both sides near and on the button surface.I took a photo of the shank end to show the Delrin lining in the mortise.Eric Nording distributed meerschaum pipes with his logo on the stem that were made for him by Manxman Pipes Ltd on the Isle of Man. I have included a screen capture of the listing for  these meerschaums on the PipePhil site ( also scrubbed the rim top plateau with a wire brush to knock of the lava that was built up there. It did not take too much work to clean up the rustication on the rim top.I scrubbed the meerschaum with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. I worked to remove the remaining lava and minimize the darkening. I rinsed it under warm running water. The photos show the rim top after scrubbing. It looked much better at this point. With the outside cleaned and shining I moved on to clean up the inside airways and mortise in the shank and the stem. I scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners.    I set the cleaned bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it began to shine.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. When I finished I gave a coat of a new product that Briarville Pipe Repair released called No Oxy Oil. It is rubbed down with the oil and the soft cloth that came with it. I am going to be experimenting with it for a while now. This is a Nording Meerschaum rusticated pot made by Manx Meerschaum on the Isle of Man. It has an interesting tactile finish with a flumed rim top and extending down the rim sides. It has a great look and feel. The shape fits well in the hand with the rustication giving the pipe a nice tactile sense when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich combination of the yellowed, rusticated meerschaum  and the polished vulcanite stem work well together. I like the finished look of this Nording Meerschaum pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 7/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This Isle of Man Meerschaum pot is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe.

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