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Calabash

I've heard from many that every one needs a true calabash pipe in their collection.  Would you agree or disagree and why?  Does anyone smoke a calabash regularly?

Comments

  • I have a calabash I rescued from a junk shop. It appears to be a true calabash made from gourd with a meerschaum bowl. I smoke it occasionally but the bottom of the bowl has 4 cracks in it and the top was pretty beaten up so I'm trying to find the right bowl to replace it.
  • kaleehbkaleehb Newcomer
    I own a butz choqin large gourd calabash pipe that I smoke on occasion, however, the size and delicacy of the pipe make it difficult to take in public. I also own a Ser Jacapo that is a large briar shaped as a calabash. Beautiful pipe that always delivers an enjoyable smoke. I would say a calabash (especially gourd) is a solid smoking investment.
  • drac2485drac2485 Enthusiast
    @kaleehb I'll keep that in mind.  I've been thinking about getting one.  I've seen the BC ones and the fact they are one of the only companies still making them with gourd makes me want to save up and get one from them.

    @pappyjoe the beat up cracked bowl is what has me scared of getting an estate calabash from eBay.  I've never been able to come across one locally 
  • @drac2485 - ask the seller to send you photos of the bottom of the bowl. If they won't don't buy it. If they do, you will be able to see how bad its cracked.
  • drac2485drac2485 Enthusiast
  • I've got an ancient (1974) gourd calabash with a meerschaum bowl. I don't smoke it that often, simply because of the awkwardness of the thing, although I enjoy it when I do.
  • My wife bought me one for Christmas. I wanted one because it is so unique. I enjoy smoking it. The meerschaum bowl is large for a good long smoke and it is cool smoking due to all the empty space in the gourd.
  • ASA13SPYASA13SPY Newcomer
    I have many and smoke them on occasion mostly at home as a few of mine are very large. A very cool smoke. many have the bowl that can be removed when cool, you might notice that after a while the gourd can get very gunky, I use a paper town to remove some of the gunk, also the gourd will change color also, but very slowly.
  • I may have to pull mine off the shelf and smoke it this afternoon.
  • The Calabash I rescued from a junk shop. She may have a couple of cracks in the bottom of the bowl but she still smokes good.

    calabash_1961
  • I've got a true Calabash but tend to use it as a decorative piece more than a pipe used in my normal smoking rotation.  010
  • I would agree that everyone should experience smoking a Calabash. I have a Pioneer that was crafted most likely during the 70's. They are ideal for taming very strong blends, such as brown ropes, or Latakia heavy blends. They are also great for smoking Virginia flakes, as Virginia's tend to create a little more moisture in the smoke stream.

    What makes the Calabash work so well, is that it has a second chamber that is large enough to not only collect moisture from the smoke stream, but it will also cool the smoke. This is where most of the newer Reverse Calabash pipes are deficient. Their smaller second chamber collects moisture, but usually isn't large enough to cool the smoke the way a traditional gourd Calabash can. Some folks shy away from a gourd Calabash because of the size, but the size of the gourd is what makes the pipe perform so well.

    When looking for an estate Calabash, try to find one with a meerschaum bowl. Some models were crafted with porcelain bowls, which will appear somewhat thinner vertically than the typical meerschaum. The meerschaum bowl will perform better, be cooler to the touch, and have better longevity than a porcelain model.

    There is a guy named Anthony Harris out in Kansas City who makes some very effective double chamber pipes from briar, but the chambers that are most effective tend to be rather large. If you are form follows function minded, you might be interested in one of his offerings. Here is a link to his site for anyone who is interested. http://acmepipes.com/Home.php

    BriarWorks out of Nashville, TN makes some really nice Calabash pipes from briar, with magnetically attached briar bowls, but they are pricey.

    Here is a pic of my Pioneer Calabash I picked up around 10 years ago. If I remember correctly, I paid around $75-$100.



    PioneerCalabash
  • A gourd calabash pipe is on my list of pipes to own in the future, along with a meer and a Falcon. I just think they're one of those classic, quintessential pipes. Sure, I wouldn't go out on a walk with one, but it would be nice for at home with a good book.
  • I have had one for quite sometime, it was given to me by someone who quit smoking, Have not smoked it for years but this discussion makes me want to bring it out and smoke it again.
  • I own one presented to me by my daughter - old, slightly cracked rim on the meerschaum bowl but beautifully restored and an excellent smoker. It does all the things claimed for it above. I love to smoke Carter Hall in it, as it makes that particular OTC blend really come alive. I definitely agree that every pipeman should own one!
  • ZouaveZouave Master
    @motie2 good article. I never knew the link between the calabash and the Boer War veterans. Thanks for posting
  • KA9FFJKA9FFJ Master
    Used to own a Calabash.  Too inconvenient for me to store and smoke (IMHO).
    Sold it at a pipe show years ago. Must have been right for me, since I have had no regrets...
  • BalisongBalisong Master
    I left mine behind, stand and all during one of my change of address weight lifting weekends. The only thing it was useful to for was collecting dust!
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    Here is my Calabash Collection. .

  • I still have one “true” calabash left.  It smokes well, but I am afraid of breaking the bowl, so I don’t smoke it all that often.  I most definitely do not take it outdoors, another reason it does not get smoked much.
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