Tag Archives: Hayim Pinhas Meerschaum pipes

A Change of Pace Restoration – an Unsmoked Turkish Made Hayim Pinhas Figural

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.

Papers Included in a Hayim Pinhas Meerschaum

Blog by Steve Laug

My brother picked up an unsmoked Hayim Pinhas Turkish carved meerschaum pipe somewhere along his pipe hunting travels. In the boxed and bagged meerschaum there were some interesting papers that Hayim included in all of his pipes. The first is an introduction to the pipe and a guide to its history and its manufacture. It is also has a simple guide for breaking it in for the new owner. I scanned a copy of it and included it below. I also typed it out so that it easier to read. I thought many of you might be interested in seeing this interesting document and reading it. Thanks for looking.




Hayim Pinhas
P.O. Box 500
Istanbul – Turkey

Meerschaum is a stone or block mostly found and mined in Asia Minor. It is embedded in red clay and usually found 240 to 250 feet under the surface of the ground. Meerschaum is not a clay or mineral but is organic in origin, being the fossilized remains of minute sea animals like coral. These little animals died many millions of years ago, and the remains of their shells were compressed by earthquakes, washed over repeatedly by the ocean and floods which deposited earth and rocks on top of them, and were moved and shifted by floods and successive glacial movements.

Today, the meerschaum is found only in Asia Minor, in sufficient quantity and of quality suitable for commercial use. Meerschaum is very light in weight and is one of the most porous substances found in nature. Consequently it absorbs nicotine and tobacco which are thus filtered in the meerschaum pipe. During the millions of years, the outside part of the meerschaum stones or blocks has deteriorated so far that only the kernel of sound meerschaum is left in the middle. The decomposed outer parts are 10-20 times the size of the kernel which is used for pipes.

Each pipe is deftly cut by hand and has its own character. It colors gradually as it is smoked, taking on a rich brown color with the years. The meerschaum is impregnated with wax which helps to give it the beautiful velvety finish for which meerschaum pipes are famous. Each pipe has its own individual character given to it by the artisan who made it. All mouthpieces pipes are fitted with bone mountings.

A meerschaum pipe should be broken in much in the same manner as a briar pipe. For the first few smokes, the pipe should be filled only half way and the tobacco not packed too tightly. This way the outside of the bowl will color gradually from the bottom up, taking on an even, rich brown tone for years of smoking pleasure. The smoker is cautioned not to touch the warm bowl with his fingers as the moisture left there will affect the eventual coloring.

— Hayim Pinhas

Hayim also included a card that was read The Meerschaum Pipes Chain of Good Luck. It was a way of publicizing the pipe making company and encouraging others to join in the pleasure of a good meerschaum pipe. I have included a scan of that card and also a typed copy of the wording on the card below.





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