|by RevDr. John
Wade Long, Jr and Giorgio Busetto
click on images to enlarge
SMOKING A 160-YEAR-OLD PIPE
I'm attaching several photos of one of my very special
pipes, a 160-year-old meerschaum "Kalmasch" (German style)
carved in Vienna with the silverwork done in London. It also has
a sterling silver safety ring on the shank for the smoker to
slip his "pinkie" finger through - in the event the bowl accidentally detaches from
Colouration: When the meerschaum (German for "sea foam") is mined, it is
eggshell white, but gradually darkens over the years as the porous mineral absorbs the
compounds produced by burning tobacco.
Dimensions: Total length of the pipe head - clasp to pinky-ring:
14 cm. / Diameter of the top cap 14cm.
The hallmarks: Maker BB (unknown) / Lion Passant -
Sterling / Leopard - London / Olde English "P" 1850 / Queen's
Head - pre-1890 (Ref. Bradbury's page 46 - far left column - see
footnote re: cartouche shape variant) Maker: BB - London.
Pattern: English Rose, Scottish Thistle, Irish Shamrock
This pipe is a piece of living history as I smoke it
regularly - here, at a meeting of the Pipe Club of
The stem is a traditional 19th Century German stem
of cherry wood with buffalo horn fitments - 39mm
long with a 7mm flexible section of woven horse hair
RevDr. John Wade Long, Jr
The research of the identity of the "BB" maker discloses
interesting information about the history of this firm still
active in present days.
According to Grimwade, the mark BB, oblong (not
illustrated beeing too small for reproduction), belongs to
Benjamin Barling, smallworker. Benjamin Barling, active at 53
Princes Street, Soho, moved to 23 Broad Street, Golden Square,
moved to Southampton Place, Camden Town, moved to 142 High
Street, Camden Town. Marks were entered in 1815, 1818, 1832,
1839 and 1852.
According to Culme, this well known firm of pipe mounters was
established in 1812 by Benjamin Barling who entered his first
mark in 1815. The style of the firm was changed in 1851 (or
before) to Benjamin Barling & Sons. The firm was managed by
Edwin Barling and his brother William Barling. In 1955 the the
firm was converted into a limited liability company as B.Barling
& Sons Ltd and became a subsidiary of The Imperial Tobacco Group
Ltd, trading from Liverpool.
pipes with Edwin & William Barling hallmarks
RevDr. John Wade Long, Jr and Giorgio Busetto
- 2010 -
RevDr. John Wade Long, Jr is the webmaster of The Pipe Club of London
website at http://www.pipecluboflondon.com/PCoL_CC_Calabashes.html