Blog by Steve Laug
I have worked on a lot of fine old briars over the past weeks and I decided this evening that I needed a change of pace. A good meerschaum would be the perfect change. I looked through the various cased figurals that I have to work and on and rejected each one as just not what I was looking for at this moment. I went back to some older pipes I have boxed here in the queue and found this unsmoked carved face of a nobleman or a Sultan – you decide when you see it. It was not in a case but it had the original documentation from Hayim Pinhas the Turkish carver who had crafted pipe. It was exactly what I was looking for to work on next. It is a Hayim Pinhas Figural Meerschaum with an amber coloured acrylic stem. Overall the pipe looked to be in excellent NOS condition. Since it was unsmoked any patina around the bowl sides and shank were age related rather than smoke related. The meer was well carved with some piercing eyes that seem to follow you as you turn the pipe. It is very well made. The stem was and undamaged and was stamped on the left side of the taper. It read Made in Turkey. It had a threaded metal stinger tenon that held in the shank. I took photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show the unsmoked condition. The bowl is spotless and the drilling is centered in the bottom. The stem is in excellent condition and will only need to be polished and waxed. I took some photos of the heel and sides of the bowl to show carver’s handiwork. It is a well carved figural meer that has some real character captured in the facial expressions. I took the stem off the bowl and took photos of the pipe and stem side by side. I had some faint recall of the make but could not remember much about the maker other than his name so I turned to a previous blog I have written on the brand that was included in a paper that came with the pipes (https://rebornpipes.com/2018/05/14/papers-included-in-a-hayim-pinhas-meerschaum/). The post included some of the items in the booklet with the pipe. I quote it in part.
Meerschaum Pipes Chain of Good Luck. Gratitude is man’s noblest sentiment. If you are satisfied with this Pipe, do not interrupt this Chain of Good Luck, pass on our address to five of your acquaintances. It will bring also Good Luck to them. Thank you. Hayim Pinhas – P.O.B. 500 – Istanbul – Turkey
I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and dust in the carving. I rinsed it off with running warm water to remove the soap and the grime. The carving looks very good and the dust and debris is gone from the grooves and the curls of the beard. It is a great looking pipe. I took photos of the cleaned pipe. I polished the all of the smooth portions of the meerschaum with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each grit of sanding pad. It is starting to really have a shine by the last sanding pads. I rubbed the meerschaum down with Before & After Restoration Balm using my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to work it into the grooves of the carving to clean, enliven and protect the meer. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth to raise the shine. The meerschaum came alive. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. It was dull but otherwise in great condition. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads to remove the scratching in the acrylic stem. I wet sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and then gave it a buff with Before & After Pipe Stem polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed that off with a cotton pad. After each sanding pad and each polish I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil to preserve and protect the stem. I put the pipe back together and gave it a buff by hand with a shoe brush and a cotton cloth. I did not want to risk damaging the meerschaum or the Bakelite stem. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a soft cloth to deepen the shine. I took photos of the finished pipe to show the shine and the patina around the bowl. The amber acrylic stem looks very good with the light patina on the beard and the shank. With time the contrast will grow richer and deeper to a thing of beauty. The finished Hayim Pinhas Figural fits nicely in the hand and I think it will feel great as it heats up with a good tobacco. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 3 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in being the one to start the legacy of this pipe it will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly. You can send me a message or an email to let know you are interested. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.