Major Restorations for an Early 20th Century HBB Gourd Calabash

I found this restoration really interesting. Charles did a great job of fitting a new meerschaum cup, cork gasket to make fit in gourd correct and even a new amber acrylic stem! Well done my friend. That is a labour of love! Thank you.

The Gourd Calabash pipe, in its current form with gourd body, rubber stem and meerschaum or clay bowl, has been around since the Second Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902). According to this article on, the war led to shortages of briar in Cape Town, pushing pipe makers to find an alternative material. Gourds had been used by the indigenous population as smoking instruments since the 1600s, so it was natural for European pipe makers to start experimenting with this local commodity.

The Gourd Calabash caught on with British soldiers, who brought them home after the war ended. Initially considered a novelty and passing fad, the Gourd Calabash became popular in the early 1900s, celebrated for both its unique look and excellent smoking qualities. Hollywood connected the Gourd Calabash pipe with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, cementing the pipe in the public imagination despite the fact…

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