"Regis picked up the old meerschaum pipe"
Meerschaum pipe example
GNU Free Documentation LicenseMeerschaum pipe  - Credit: Sacer

Meerschaum pipes are widely considered the finest of all smoking vessels.  They don't need to be 'broken in' like most other pipes, yet can still get better with age. The pipe is made from an easy-to-carve material called meerschaum ("sea foam" in German) which is found underground in parts of Turkey and Africa and is formed from the fossilised remains of minute sea creatures. Meerschaum was favoured by the European aristocracy as it could be carved into intricate designs.