Meerschaum tobacco pipe, Europe, 1851-1900
This bowl of this tobacco pipe is carved from a material called meerschaum – a white coloured clay like mineral that was easy to carve. Female figures were a popular choice of decoration. Burns around the top of the bowl indicate the pipe has been well used. Shredded tobacco would have been placed in the bowl of the pipe, lit and the smoke inhaled through the amber mouthpiece.
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Glossary: meerschaum tobacco pipe
A chemical compound that forms 0.6-3.0 per cent of the dry weight of tobacco. Nicotine acts as a stimulant in mammals, and is one of the primary reasons for smoking addiction.