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BOTTOM: Assorted calabashes -
Edwardian era
but for the Pioneer, top
row, third from right, and the 1950s
Kaywoodie,  top row right, and the
South African in the rear.

All are made from the calabash gourd, all
of which are from Africa.

There are various types:

1. African gourd with copper decoration
and clay bowl.

2. Gourds having a tobacco chamber
formed of gypsum paste, capped with
sterling silver, one with a perforated win
cover. The brown coloured cup seen
bottom row, third from right is
compressed asbestos and so marked.

3. As above, but open on top with no
silver cap.

4. Gourds using a separate lathe-turned
meerschaum cup as the tobacco
chamber. One, second row, left, has a
silver rim under the meer cup. These are
typically called "Sherlock Holmes" pipes,
though nowhere in the novels is Holmes
mentioned as smoking a calabash.

5. The ferrule fitments for mounting the
mouthpiece differ in design as well,
some being of wood (briar on the
Andreas Bauer - left rear, or rosewood,
top row second from right), bakelite, or
solid sterling silver (front right)

6. The moutpieces themselves may be of
fossil amber or bakelite, or, on the more
modern pipes, acrylic.

From the Johnny Long collection
PCoL #UK603F
LEFT: "Karoo" calabash - silver
Hallmarked W.H. 1908
Birmingham, England Maker -
Wm. Harrison

Calabash gourds
("bottle gourds" -
were grown on the Little Karoo
River in South Africa by Boer
farmers who exported them - cut &
dried - to England for fitting with
bowls and mouthpieces. The
heyday of the calabash was 1905
to 1915 after which the briar began
to steal the spotlight.
From the Johnny Long collection
PCoL #UK603F - pictured on a
South African tapestry. Below - the
Karoo brand & hallmarks
LEFT: Samuel Clemens
("Mark Twain") with his
calabash. Both Clemens
and England's King
Edward VII died in the
same year - 1910.
BELOW: Small short-smoke calabash
Maker: Mike Billington of Blakemar Briars - PCoL
#UK400A (see Pipe Suppliers page).

Length: 5.5 in. Tobacco chamber dia.
.7 in., depth 1 in.

From the collection of Nickola Krustev - PCoL

Nik reports that this small "bash" is ideal for a 5 - 15
minute smoke break at work - perfect for joining his
cigarette smoking colleagues on a break.
Collectors' Corner Main

Pipes of all Types

Briars - 1850 - 1900

Briars - 1901 - 1945

Briars - 1946 - present 1

Briars - 1946 - present 2

Briars - 1946 - present 3

Briars - 1946 - present 4


Clays - antique & modern

Corncob pipes

Ethnic & Tribal pipes

Figural pipes (people & animal)


Novelty pipes

System pipes

Pipe Accessories

Pipe Tampers, tools & reamers


Match Safes (vestas)

Pipe Rests & Racks
NEW! Click HERE to read a
fascinating article by South African
pipeman, Colin Wesley. Here he
reveals the art of growing and
preparing of the "bottle gourd" for
the creation of the inimitable
calabash pipe.  
RIGHT: Cased calabash - pristine and unsmoked.

From the John D. Green collection
#UK 270L