Collecting Antique Meerschaum Pipes: Miniature to Majestic Sculpture, 1850-1925 is an illustrated guide to the smoking utensils made of a mineral that has been used since at least the early 1700s and which is, today, still a popular material. In the last decade, a surge in interest in tobacco collectibles has already spawned many books on cigarette lighters, cigar-box labels, and snuff boxes and bottles. This book now comes at a time when antique meerschaums are taking center stage, and collecting them is like buying blue-chip stocks. Ben Rapaport is one of the few internationally recognized authorities on the subject of antique pipes, and in this, his second book published by Schiffer, he has created a powerful and convincing tour de force in word and picture that evidences why so many pipe collectors have a fervent passion for these exceptional works of art. Ranging from very diminutive and expressive cigarette holders to massive sculptured pipes, these instruments were produced by many talented, skilled, and unknown craftsmen working in a cottage industry trade 150 years ago. The caliber of their handiwork and the myriad imaginative meerschaums they produced cannot be duplicated anywhere in the world today. Now, this volume is a permanent record of their unrivaled genius.
Ben Rapaport, known globally as a tobacco pipe historian, is also a member of the International Academy of the Pipe, the Confrerie des Maitres Pipiers de Saint-Claude, France, and recipient of Doctor of Pipes achievement award. He contributes regularly to Pipes & Tobaccos magazine and occasionally to South Florida Opulence magazine.