Meerschaum

In the second half of the nineteenth century the cigar became a general and popular alternative for the smoker. This new fashion leads to a large industry in refined and elaborately carved holders, not always functional and often rather ladylike in appearance. These pipes became the secrets of the gentleman's smoke room, especially when carved in piquant to erotic scenes.

The variety in carving of these meerschaum cheroot holders is immense. The most refined examples are skilful pieces of labour and show explicit and exact details in flowers, animals, personages or even scenes with a dozen people. They vary in size from a few inches to about ten inches. Meerschaum cigar holders were generally sold in a case to protect the fragile work of art.

After 1900 the production continues, but in a more industrial way. Also with this item the decline starts and the subject is treated with less interest. It is in that era that the endless series of jumping horses, sitting dogs and bird's claws were made. After World War I cigar holders are no longer in use.

common style of cheroot holders with leaves, fruits and sometimes a lady's hand, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1920 a more elaborate piece with amber details in the fruits, Vienna, Austria, 1890-1910
holder made on demand individualized with initials, Vienna, Austria, 1860-1880
the hands of friendschip, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
the beak of a bird sharpened on the pipe stem, Austria, 1880-1900 box with two cheroot holders, in de cover the addresd of a pipe shop, Vienna, Austria, 1900-1910
bird's head with beak as a popular design, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
cheroot holder shaped like a horse leg, a gold ring round the stem, J. Sommer, Parjs, France, 1890-1910
the bowl of the pipe shows upside down the head of a dog, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
bust of an historic queen with lace along her dress, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
bust of an historic person in late sixteenth century clothing, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
a beautiful negro head, the eyes accentuated in black, Vienna, Austria, 1890-1920
bust of an unknown lady but custom made, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
naturalistic bust of a Pruisian emperor with broad beard, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
case with negro head for small and larger cheroots, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900 a creature between mefistopheles and the devil, Vienna, Austria, 1890-1920
cheroot holder, the bowl showing an elegant lady, Austria, 1880-1900
small cheeroot holder with a decoration dedicated to the antique world, Vienna, Austria, 1870-1900
a lady jockey sitting in elegant pose on the pipe stem, Vienna, Austria, 1900-1920
a skull resting on an open hand, a popular motive, the pipe bowl with insert to smoke cigars, Vienna, Austria, 1870-1900
detail of a cheroot holder with two standing naked women near a bossage, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
sitting naked woman the armes crossed in front of her body, Vienna, Austria, 1870-1900
the famous Wagner pipe showing Lohengrin in the boat pulled by a swan, Vienna, Austria, 1860-1890
the story of Mazeppa bound on horse back depicted in a cheroot holder, Austria, 1860-1880
cheroot holder between human face and phallus, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
man and woman caught in love action, Vienna, Austria, 1900-1920
rather crudely carved angel holding a flower, Germany, 1880-1900
two naked ladies and an angel mark this floral design, Hungary, 1860-1890
another unexpected design of a phallic-face, Vienna, 1870-1890
the bust of a sater looking at an elegant lady, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
along the stem a naked lady holding a huge shell in which the bowl is found, Vienna, Austria, 1870-1900
the base of the bowl a laughing moon, Vienna, Austria, 1890-1910
urn shaped holder with a musician on one side, a dancing couple on the other side, Vienna, Austria, 1860-1890 dark brown from use a cigar holder in gothic style, Budapest, Hungary, 1870-1890
based on the common mid-European styled pipe including the decoration, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
a typical cheroot holder with cilindrical bowl the owner's initials carved on the front, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1910
a custom made pipe showing the coat of arms of a noble family, Vienna, Austria, 1860-1880
oval shaped bowl with silver inlays, Hungary, 1880-1900
rectangular box with two meerschaum and amber cheroot holders with silver mountings, England, 1900-1920
cigar holder with bowl shaped as a half peeled walnut, Vienna, Austria, 1880-1900
slender bowl of a cigarette holder with silver inlays, Belgium?, 1890-1910
All objects on this page are part of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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