Meerschaum is a type of clay used to make tobacco pipes, so having been well-smoked they should have mellowed from off-white to an old polished leather brown.

… suitcases that were so old they had taken on the color of well-smoked meerschaum.

Delighted to say I am the proud owner of a dozen such burnished old suitcases, picked up for a song at various flea markets.

Source: Lajos Zilahy, The Dukays, trans. John Pauker (London: Prion, 2001), p. 385

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