I have several of my Grandfather's briars, from the 1910s and 20s. He was as fanatic about cleaning and maintenance as am I, and they're still good smokes. I also have a meerschaum of an uncle's (needs to be restored, broken tenon) and I'm sure. with a bit of care, it will be an excellent smoke. Essentially, a good pipe is like a good gun or good car ... it will last as long as you want it to. And I shoot firearms regularly that are well over 100 years old.