THE REAL CALABASH PIPE
For those who never saw a pipe like this: this is a calabash-pipe. The orange/brown part is made of a gourd, forced into this particular shape while growing. The white part is made of meerschaum, a soft, plaster-like mineral that makes great pipes (queen of pipes it used to be called). And the yellow mouthpiece used to be made from amber, though this is just amber-like plastic. The pipe is clearly a design from the past, most popular in the 19th century, but they are still made. This pipe is a walking dino among pipes, and there's a reason for that. If it's well made, from real block-meerschaum, it's a great smoke, but that's not the main reason they're still around. This, lady's and gentlemen, is it:
The one and only real Sherlock Holmes pipe! Seen in many movies and on even more book covers, the ultimate symbol of the private consulting detective.
And here's the twist: Sherlock Holmes didn't smoke a calabash pipe. In all the stories Conan Doyle wrote on the sleuth, there's no mention of a calabash pipe. Holmes owned an oily black stone pipe, and old and trusted rosewood pipe, a cherrywood pipe he always smoked while being in an argumental mood, but not a syllable on a calabash. The icon of this man with cape, deerhunter-cap and a saxophone dangling from his mouth is of a later date. Since the character of Holmes was so popular, by the end of the 19th century Sherlock Holmes-plays were staged. And one of the more successful interpreters of Holmes, a certain Mr. Gilett, was a dedicated pipe smoker. And it's this Mr. Gilett who added the huge and particular pipe to the gestalt of Sherlock Holmes.
Now you'll never be without an answer......