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eBay Nice Dunhill Prince. A Cherry Stain, Looks original, looks to be hardly smoked at all....Everythings in order.Pipe case not includedNomenclature: 259 F/T DUNHILL BRUYERE//MADE IN ENGLAND9 (1)ANomenclature Condition: CrispLength: 5&3/4inBowl Height: 1&1/4inBowl Depth: 1inTobacco Chamber Outer Diameter: 1&1/4inTobacco Chamber Inner Diameter: 3/4Length of Stem: 3&3/4inStem Type: Vulcanite/Tapered/Bent/White DotMentionables: Stem is clean, no marks at all*If you need more information, please ask!----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Pipe Stems--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Pipe Shape Chart----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Christian Pipe Smokers Blog/Portalhttp://christianpipesmokers.net----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dunhill Letter Shape Code - Pre 1977CHSkaterCKBent RhodesianCK 1960EKSquare panelEK 1958ECCanadianESCanadianFEPrinceFETStraight Prince FET 1932 FET 1943HBBentHUHungarianKAppleK 1954 K 1927KBUrn (Quaint shape)LBBilliardLB 1962LBSBilliard (Longer) LBS 1950LCBent (Larger)LC 1953LFDublinLOXBulldogLVStraight BrandyOSquat BulldogORStrt. RhodesianOXSaddle BulldogOX 1960 OX 1972OXSBulldogP1/2 Bent BulldogPO1/4 Bent BulldogRPot R 1950SUBarrel (?)TLYBentUShield BulldogU 1923USQuaint shapeUS 1983UTQuaint shapeUT 1927VSBrandyVS 1962WBamboo-----------------------------------------------------A Dunhill Pipe Dating GuideAlfred Dunhill began to manufacture briar smoking pipes in 1910; the famous white spot first appeared on top of the hand-cut vulcanite mouthpiece in 1915 in order that the customer should know which part faced upwards. At about this same time a one year guarantee against defects was offered on the bowl of each pipe, and to insure against far older Dunhill pipes being replaced under this guarantee a simple dating code, showing the year of manufacture, was devised and stamped onto each pipe bowl. This code is still in use today.Over the ensuing years great interest has arisen over the "mystique" of the Dunhill pipe in general and the dating code in particular. Pipe collectors, especially in America, pride themselves on having acquired Dunhill pipes in prime condition which were made in the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's. Some collectors strive to acquire only those Dunhill pipes made between 1920 (when Dunhill stopped buying bowls turned in France in favor of those turned in London at the newly opened Dunhill bowl-turning facility) and 1928 (the year of Alfred Dunhill's retirement). Consequently, much confusion has arisen over the dating code because it has not been standardized over the years, and seemingly minor differences in the code can mean a difference of years, even decades, in the manufacture of the pipe.Adding to this is the fact that the firm has used a great many special stampings depending on what part of the world to which their pipes were destined, and that sometimes these stampings or codes were used for only three or four months duration.Leading to even greater confusion is that many pipes were simply stamped incorrectly; at times one part or another of the code is not to be found on a given pipe.Taking all this into account it should not be surprising that the original and complete dating code list, in possession of the firm's archivist at 30 Duke Street, is some twenty eight pages long. And even if this list was made available it would be of little use to any but the most expert because it can only be used in conjunction with the most precise knowledge of the Dunhill pipe as it has changed in appearance over the years.But enough of the complications in dating Dunhill pipes. What follows is a "general guide" as to dating; with it the reader should be able to date the majority of Dunhill pipes with which he/she comes into contact.Types of finish:1. Bruyere -introduced in 1910; signified by an "A" (meaning' best quality) on the side of the shank through 1975. "Inner Tube" stamped on shank through 1934.2. Root - introduced in 1930; signified by an "R" stamped on the shank through 1975.3. Shell - introduced in 1917.4. Tanshell -introduced in 1953.5. Redbark -introduced in 1973. (Pipedia Sysop note: Other sources indicate the Redbark was introduced in 19726. Cumberland -introduced in 1980.Special series:H.W. "hand, worked" - A hand-carved (as opposed to machine-carved) pipe of classic design. "H.W." stamped on shank. Not made after 1930's.D. R. "dead root" - Denotes Dunhill straight grain pipes. The bruyere finish was used on these pipes through 1929; root finish was used thereafter. "D.R." stamped on shank.O.D. "own design" - Denotes a pipe designed by the customer and carved to order. "O.D." stamped on shank. Not made after late 1920's or early 1930's. In 1950 a special series of "ODA" pipes was begun and continued through 1975. These were not carved to order.Collector - Denotes hand-turned bowls (as opposed to machine-turned) made from plateau briar. Introduced in 1978.Dating of Bruyere and Root finishes - 1925 onwardsPipedia Contributor's note: I am hoping to have actual photos of this nomenclature here. If you have any, and would be willing to contribute them, please E-mail me. Also, if you see any errors here, please E-mail. It is very difficult to tell from the web version I was working from. If you have the original and can scan it and send it to me, that would fantastic!:1925:NOTE: For the years 1925 through 1941 the suffix number (denoting the year of manufacture) is sometimes after the patent number and sometimes after the word ENGLAND.1926-34: As above but with annual change of suffix number 6(1926) 7(1927) 8(1928) 9(1929) 0(1930) 11(1931) 12(1932) 13(1933) 14(1934).NOTE: For the years 1925-34 other patent numbers were sometimes used in place of 116989/17. Some examples are: 5861/12 (English); 1343253/20 (U.S.)1935-41:1942-50:1951: As above but with the suffix1 after the word ENGLAND; in addition a group number e.g. 4 R or 3 A is introduced for the first time.1952: As above but with the suffix2 after the word ENGLAND. Also, instead of DUNHILL/LONDON the finish of the pipe is stamped under the word Dunhill e.g. DUNHILL/ROOT BRIAR1953-54: As above but with 3 or 4 as suffix according to the year made.1955-60: From 1955 the patent number is no longer shown on the pipe. Examples for this period read:1961-70: Same as above but with the line under the suffix number omitted. In addition from 1965-70 the size of the suffix number is the same as the D in ENGLAND.1971-75: As above but with a double suffix number (sometimes underlined).1976-77: During this period the group number and finish code were dropped and the old shape numbers were dropped in favor of a new system. Shape numbers during this period had either 3, 4, or 5 digits.1978-82: In 1978 shape numbers all became five digit. Also the double digit suffix number (sometimes underlined) again became smaller than the D in ENGLAND.Dating of Shell, Tanshell, Redbark, and Cumberland finishes-1925 onwards:Pipedia Contributor's note: I am hoping to have actual photos of this nomenclature here. If you have any, and would be willing to contribute them, please E-mail me. Also, if you see any errors here, please E-mail. It is very difficult to tell from the web version I was working from. If you have the original and can scan it and send it to me, that would fantastic!:1925:1926-34: As above but with annual change of suffix number 6 (1926) 7 (1927) 8 (1928) 9 (1929) 0 (1930) 11 (1931) 12 (1932) 13 (1933) 14 (1934)NOTE: For the years 1925-34 other patent numbers were sometimes used in place of 119708/17 & 116989/17. Some examples are: 5861/12 (English); 1341418/20 (U.S.); 1130806/15 (U.S.); 1343253/20 U.S.); 1861910/32 (U.S. - used only for Vernon Dunhill fitment pipe).1935-41:1942-50:1951: As above but with the suffix after the word ENGLAND; in addition a group number e.g. 2 S; 4 S is introduced for the first time.1952:1953-54: The Tanshell finish is introduced in 1953. As above but with the suffix3 or 4 after the word ENGLAND.1955-60: From 1955 the patent number is no longer shown on the pipe.1961-70: As above, but with the line under the suffix number omitted. From 1965-70 the size of the suffix number is the same as the D in ENGLAND.1971-75 As above, but with a double digit suffix number (sometimes underlined). The Redbark is introduced in 1973 (Pipedia Sysop note: Other sources indicate the Redbark was introduced 19721976-77: During this period the group number and finish code were dropped and the old shape numbers were dropped in favor of a new system. Shape numbers during this period had either 3, 4, or 5 digits.1978-82: In 1978 shape numbers all became five digit. Also the double digit suffix number (sometimes underlined) again became smaller than the D in ENGLAND. The Cumberland finish is introduced in 1980.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PRE ?25 DUNHILL PIPEJohn C. Loring(9/97)Commencing business in 1893 as an auto supply house, Dunhill began producing its own oil cured briar smoking pipes in 1910. In the following decade and a half almost all the elements of the now classic Dunhill pipe line came into place, for instance the two principal finishes - a mahogany "Bruyere" and a black sandblast "Shell" - the metal ?inner tube? fitting and sandblast patents, most all the classic shapes, the white dotted bit, the one year guarantee, and the associated date code stampings. In recent years a number of articles have addressed how to use those date code stampings to date Dunhill briars dating after 1925 but virtually none have addressed the earlier years (R.D. Field 'A Dunhill Pipe Dating Guide' Pipe Smoker Vol 2 No.1 Winter '84; the Levin Pipes International dating guide in its Dunhill catalogues compilation; 'A Dunhill Pipe Primer' The Smoker's Pipeline, Vol 10, No. 4 March '93; see Chart, and Pipeworks @ Wilke Dunhill & Barling, 'General Information and Dating Guide'). In fact however, a good many Dunhill briars dating to those earlier years may still be found today and working with a 1980?s letter from the long since retired Dunhill archivist, S.F.Gomersall (as recounted in an article by Michael Friedberg published The Smoker?s Pipeline, Vol 6, No 5 July ?89 p. 13 See Article ), pipes in my collection and some of others, I find that most such pipes may be quite accurately dated. A 1910 - 1925 DATING GUIDE BRUYERE - PRIOR TO OCTOBER 21, 19181910 - October 20, 1918 - "DUKE STREET". Initially only "Bruyere" pipes were produced. Through June of 1918 they were stamped on a straight line:"A DUNHILLDUKE ST. S.W."From June 1918 through October 1918 a small subscript " o " (sometimes called a "stop") was added after the "A".The only finish to ever bear this ?duke street? stamping was the Bruyere and after June 1918 the only other time Dunhill has employed the stamping was in 1985 in connection with its two Bruyere pipe sterling banded 75th Anniversary Set. These anniversary pipes (model 1, a small ¾ bent, and model 3, a small billiard) are readily recognizable as the reverse side of the shank is stamped "75 YEARS ....." and the sterling band has a floral letter "L" as one of the hallmark strikes. Thus if you find a ?duke street? stamped pipe without these markings, you know it dates from before October 21, 1918.Some further refinement of the pre- October 1918 period is also possible. While Dunhill introduced it?s initial "inner tube" fitting (a metal removable tube that fits in the shank to ease cleaning and removal of tobacco fragments) around 1911 it did not secure it?s initial patent for the same until 1913, thus ?duke street? pipes with patent number stampings may be dated to the 1913 - 1918 period. Similarly, if the ?duke street? stamped pipes also are stamped PAT. 1914 or PAT. MAR.9.15 they may be dated to either the 1914 or 1915 - 1918 period respectively. However, it must be emphasized that the lack of such patent stampings on a ?duke street? pipe is not indicative of an earlier period.NOMENCLATURE & EXAMPLES  BRUEYRE - SUBSEQUENT TO OCTOBER 1918October 21, 1918 - to Year?s End - ?Equal Length LONDON?. On October 21, 1918 the "duke st. s. w" stamping was changed to "LONDON". For a two-month period, through the end of 1918 this "LONDON" stamping was equal in length to the "DUNHILL" stamping immediately above it.This is the only time that the "DUNHILL [/] LONDON" stampings are of equal length. Thus if the that stamping is of equal length you know the pipe dates from late 1918. NOMENCLATURE & EXAMPLES 1919 - ?Arched DUNHILL?. In 1919 the "DUNHILL" stamping was changed from a straight line to a shallow arch. This is the only time that this stamping was employed. There are two variations of the arched "DUNHILL" stamping. From January 3, 1919 to May 20, 1919 the straight line "LONDON" stamping immediately below the arched "DUNHILL" is within the compass of the arch, while from May 21 to Year?s End it is equal to the compass with the "L" and final "N" of "LONDON" being immediately below the "D" and the final "L" of "DUNHILL". Thus if the "DUNHILL" stamping of the pipe forms a shallow arch you know the pipe was made in 1919.NOMENCLATURE & EXAMPLES 1920 (actually to November 1920) - ?No Code or Tails?. 1920 is the trickiest year to date since absence rather then presence are the keys, so please bear with me for some explanations.First, the ?code?. Dunhill began it?s one year pipe guarantee policy in 1921 and in order to determine the pipe?s year of purchase, sometime in that year it began adding a raised underlined "1" immediately after the "MADE IN ENGLAND" or patent stamping. In 1922 this number was changed to "2" and increased by a factor of one each year through 1925 (see standard dating code guides for years thereafter). Prior to 1921 there was no such code stamping.Second, the ?tails?. Customarily the "D" of the "DUNHILL" stamping is made up of a vertical backbone line met flush at the top and the bottom by a semi-circle. This is called a "D" without tails or simply "no tails" and you can see it by looking at virtually any Dunhill pipe you pick up. However, from November 1920 to apparently sometime in 1922 the "D" stamping was "with tails" meaning that the ends of the semi circle clearly and noticeably extended past the vertical backbone line at both the top and bottom (the two extensions being the ?tails?).With this in mind, a Dunhill Bruyere from 1920 is one that like all pre 1921/1922 Dunhill pipes does not have a date code and within that twelve year universe of pipes, does not have a ?duke street? stamping, does not have an arched "DUNHILL" and does not have a "DUNHILL" "D" with tails. Or to put it affirmatively it looks like most any other pre World War II Dunhill Bruyere except that the date code is absent. But here?s the rub, pun intended, prior to the war on occasion pipes inadvertently left the factory without a date code or more often with date codes less heavily struck then the adjacent nomenclature. Thus the absence of a date code can more often be more indicative of subsequent pipe buffing or factory error then of a 1920 pipe. As a consequence dating a pipe to 1920 is always a judgment call and even if all the objective tests are met ultimately rests on a subjective ?feel? for the period.NOMENCLATURE & EXAMPLES 1921 (actually from November 1920) - Tails and/or Code. 1921 is far less problematic. The key distinction between 1920 and 1921 is that beginning in November of 1920 the "D" in the "DUNHILL" stamping is with tails. As Dunhill appears to have discontinued the tails stamping sometime in 1922, a pipe having a "D" with tails? and without a "2" date code can be comfortably dated to 1921 (note that even if the "2" was buffed off or omitted in the factory the uniqueness of the "D" with tails means that at most you are a year off in the dating).It also appears that sometime in 1921, probably late in the year, a raised underlined "1" date code was added after either the "MADE IN ENGLAND" or patent stamping.NOMENCLATURE & EXAMPLES1922 - 1925 - Date Code. From 1922 on pipes can be reliably dated based on the date code stamping that immediately follows either the "MADE IN ENGLAND" or patent stamping and is generally found either raised and/or underlined. "2" indicates 1922, "3" 1923, "4" 1924 and "5" 1925. (While these single digits were also used as date codes for the early ?40s, ?50s and ?60s, the later pipes can be readily distinguished. For instance pipes from the ?40s do not have an "INNER TUBE" stamping but do have a patent number while those certain bent shaped pipes from 1922 - 1925 that lack the "INNER TUBE" stamping will also not be stamped with a patent number. Additionally generally speaking the patent number used on pipes from the ?40s is from the 1930?s (e.g. 417574/34) obviously ruling out an earlier manufacture date. In a similar mode pipes from the ?50s and ?60s have size stampings (e.g. a circled 4), a stamping not found on pipes made before the ?50s. Further in 1952 the "LONDON" stamping on Bruyere pipes made before 1952 was changed to "BRUYERE".) NOMENCLATURE & EXAMPLESSHELL1919 - 1921 - No Date Code. Although Dunhill applied for it's English sandblast patent in October of 1917 it was not granted until October, 1918 and it is believed that manufacture of that finish did not begin until after that grant or effectively 1919. It appears for all practicable purposes that the initial 1919 Shell stamping was "DUNHILL?S "SHELL"" when there was also a "MADE IN ENGLAND" stamping or "DUNHILL?S "SHELL BRIAR"" when there was no additional "MADE IN ENGLAND" stamping and in both cases additionally a patent stamping (It would also appear that there was a prototype stamping in either 1918 or 1919 that omitted both "SHELL" and "SHELL BRIAR", simply reading "DUNHILL?S" but either that stamping was never generally used or was used for only a brief time).With the same caveats directed to the 1920 Bruyeres applying here, generally speaking the absence of a date code dates a Shell briar to the 1919 - 1921 period. Some further definition is possible based on the patent stampings. A "/20" patent number without a date code obviously eliminates 1919 dating the pipe to 1920/1921 and a "PAT. MAR. 9.15" with a "PAT. APP FOR" stamping dates the pipe to 1919/1920 (note however, that a "PAT.1914" with a "PAT. APP FOR" offers no such definition and can date to as late as 1923).NOMENCLATURE & EXAMPLES1922 - 1925 - Date Codes. From 1922 forward the same date codes discussed with reference to Bruyeres also apply to Shells. NOMENCLATURE & EXAMPLES OTHER NOMENCLATURE ISSUES, COMMENTS & CURIOSITIES"MADE IN ENGLAND" & "FABRICATION ANGLAISE". While "MADE IN ENGLAND" & "FABRICATION ANGLAISE", as the case may be, appear to have become a uniform alternative stampings by the mid 1920?s, initially those stampings appear to have been reserved only for pipes intended for export."SHELL" vs "SHELL BRIAR". This seems to be a matter of ascetics, the former being used in conjunction with a "MADE IN ENGLAND" stamping and the latter being used when the "MADE IN ENGLAND" stamping is absent.SHELL MODEL NUMBERS. While all Shell pipes began as standard Bruyere model shapes the deep sandblasting of the period meant that the resulting pipe could be far from standard. During this period and for a time after the nomenclature examples as well as catalogues seems to suggest that there was in a place a dual model number system, one number reflecting the original Bruyere model shape and the second, a single digit, reflecting a Shell category. The particulars of this apparent dual system and it?s evolution however, are unknown to me."INNER TUBE". While generally speaking the "INNER TUBE" stamping is standard for Bruyeres during this period, when an inner tube was not fitted in the pipe (e.g. many bent shapes) the stamping together with related patent numbers was omitted."A". In this period Bruyere pipes were uniformly stamped with an "A", however, sometimes the "A" was circled and sometimes not. Whether the "A" is circled or not has no bearing on the date of the pipe. I am presently unawares of the distinction underlying the two styles. ExampleStop after the "A". On Bruyeres between June and October 1918 and with some non date related omissions, from 1920 through at least 1925, a ?stop? (a subscript "o" and in one known instance square shaped) was stamped immediately after the "A". The rationale for the stamping appears to have been ascetic and other then dating a ?duke street? stamped pipe to the second half of 1918, the stamping appears to have no interpretive value. Example"DR". Dunhill used a "DR" stamping to denote straight grained pipes as early as the ?duke street? (1910 - 1918) period. However, such straight graining is largely lost in the dark Bruyere finish effectively making the stamping a curiosity until the Root finish, which allows for the effective display of the grain, was introduced in 1930 (from that time on Bruyeres were never stamped "DR" regardless of grain - since at least in the pre war period the Root finished pipes were not a result of grading the grain of potential Bruyere briar but rather were made from a different briar altogether one can occasionally find an exceptionally grained post 1930 Bruyere that in an earlier time might have been stamped "DR").PATENT INFORMATION. Patents in this period refer either to the inner tube (including the inner tube with flange refinement) or the sandblast process. The year date after the slash for English patents refers to the application date while for US patents to the grant date. While the patent numbers are generally given (with or without a slash year date) a PAT. MAR.9.15 and PAT. 1914 stamping referring respectively to the US and Canadian inner tube patents was also used, apparently up to 1924. PAT. APP. FOR is a generic stamping, e.g. if preceded by "PAT. 1914" stamping it refers to the Canadian sandblast patent application, but if preceded by a PAT. MAR.9.15" stamping it refers to the US sandblast patent application. Pertinent patent numbers follow:   INNER TUBEINNER TUBE with FLANGESANDBLASTENGLISH5861/12116989/17119708/17UNITED STATES1130806/151343253/201341418/20CANADIAN158709/14197365/20??????FRENCH?????491232/19??????"EX". The Dunhill one year guarantee was good for only one replacement pipe. Accordingly, a replacement pipe was given a supplementary "EX" stamping to preclude further replacement. This stamping was put in use at the same time as (or at least less then a year after) the date code stamping."DAMAGED PRICE" & "X" Out. In this period Dunhill apparently marketed damaged pipes stamped as such, e.g. a Bruyere and a Shell respectively stamped "DAMAGED PRICE 3?/6?" and "X" (obliterating part of "DUNHILL?S") have been found. ExampleINCONSISTENT NOMENCLATURE. I?m not sure whether it was Barry Levin or Bob Hamlin who first recounted the story of a visit to a famous pipe maker who explained that some nomenclature changes were simply the result of mislaying the right stamping tool and then later finding it again, but the point is not all pipe nomenclature is consistent or lends itself to ?logical? explanation. Similarly Michael Friedberg in his ?89 article on early Dunhill dating advised that "In the early years, Dunhill was not always consistent in its stampings." quoting for support Dunhill archivist Gomersall?s letter to the effect that:"We hope you can appreciate that it is only with some trepidation we issue information on this subject especially in reference form, for from our experience, the interpretation of such data, can be and often is, much adrift. The markings have to taken as points of evidence and weighed in the balance of experience and ?feel?, for at times all the factors do not add up for the uninitiated to make a positive judgment."Alfred Dunhill was very much a perfectionist, and while inconsistency and inadvertent omission are a necessary part of the human condition, I interpret Mr. Gomersall?s comments differently, for I have found that with respect to Dunhill nomenclature, seeming inconsistencies when viewed with sufficient nomenclature examples or given thought do in fact reveal a fairly consistent logic. So rather, I interpret Mr. Gomersall as simply saying that early Dunhill nomenclature is not without it?s complexities, that the factory records are incomplete for this time period, and the time increasingly distant. Thus when faced with seeming inconsistencies (e.g. the circled and uncircled "A") I believe it is most probably the result of having not yet developed a sufficient universe of pipe nomenclature examples to allow for an understanding of the underlying logic or alternatively simply not having thought the complexities through. To wit, two examples:Example 1: The apparent "MADE IN ENGLAND" and "SHELL" vs "SHELL BRIAR" inconsistencies, the logical explanations for which only became (hopefully) apparent when sufficient nomenclature examples were put together and compared (of course there is always the danger that more examples will throw the ?logical? explanations out the window).Example 2: I have a Dunhill Bruyere with clear 1920 stampings (i.e. a "D" without tails rather then with tails) except for an equally clear raised underlined "1" date code. One could view this as simply an inconsistent "DUNHILL" stamp use, on the other hand knowing that Dunhill has long had a history of supplementary stampings dating back to at least 1922 (e.g. the "EX" example above), it seems far more likely to me that this pipe was manufactured and initially stamped in 1920 but remained unsold at the time the one year guarantee was introduced in 1921 and received a supplementary date code stamp at that time. Example THE PIPEHaving discussed the nomenclature of the pre ?25 Dunhill pipe it would seem appropriate to close with a few words about the pipe itself.The pre ?25 Dunhill comes in only two finishes the Bruyere and Shell. In other words if the striking appearance of beautiful grain is important to you, give these pipes a pass, for even a DR Bruyere can?t begin to hold a candle in terms of readily visible grain to a post 1930 well grained Root briar. Similarly if you only like large pipes the pre ?25 Dunhill is likewise generally a pass, for while the pre ?25 Dunhill is found in a full range of shapes, in general it is an appreciably smaller pipe - roughly a group 3 by today?s standards - and pipes larger then what is today a group 4 are relatively rare. On the other hand if you are looking for a medium or smaller pipe with great smoking characteristics, a warm tactile feel, and exceptional character I doubt you will ever find better.The pre ?25 bit is a thicker, rounder vulcanite, which in my view works exceptionally well for a smaller pipe, less so for larger pieces.Due no doubt in large part to age, the pre ?25 Bruyere finished pipes tends to have developed a wonderful patina, warm to the touch and unsurpassed by most any other pipe I know of save Root briars from the mid to late ?30s which are perhaps the more exceptional in that regard.The pre ?25 Shell is an unusually craggy sandblast giving a piece great character although admittedly often at the expense of unbalancing the shape. I find however, that this works well for the smaller sized bowl, less so for the larger. For the larger sizes, e.g. the LB or 120, the more refined, better balanced but still craggy blasts of the ?30s and early ?50s are preferable, the reverse in my opinion being true for the medium and small shapes.The Dunhill, like almost all English briars is an oil cured pipe and I have come to the firm belief that these pipes truly mellow with age. You can sense it with briars from the ?50s and as far as I am concerned it becomes eminently demonstrable in Dunhills from the ?30s and before. A post war Dunhill is a great smoke but a pre war piece is a taste of heaven. I have had less then good smoking post war Dunhills and less then good smoking pre war pipes of other manufacturers, but after being cleaned up I have never had less then an excellent smoking pre war Dunhill. In my opinion such older Dunhills represent a superlative marriage of age and quality pipe making.In short, while I must admit a preference for a ?30s Root Briar or ?30s - early ?50s Shell Briar when it comes to the larger size bowl or for the grain, in my opinion when it comes to the medium and smaller sizes a Dunhill from the 1920?s or 1910?s is unsurpassed. End-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE DUNHILL PIPE: A COMPARISON OF THEN AND NOWThis article was the first I published for Pipe Smoker- in the Fall 1983 issueWe are pleased to introduce R.D. "David" Field as a new Associate Editor. David was recommended by Ben Rapaport who sent us the following article which Mr. Field had written last year. David is employed by the city of Philadelphia as a social worker. He is regarded as an expert on Dunhill Pipes and is also knowledgeable on Castellos and other brands. At forty-one· years old, David has been a pipe smoker for many years and has dealt extensively in pre-smoked collectibles. he has had articles printed abroad ("Amici della Pipa" and "Smoking") and should be welcome to the staffof PIPE SMOKER.As a pipe collector, a pipe hobbyist, and as a Dunhill principal pipe dealer, I hear comments over and over again about the comparative merits of the older pipes versus the newer models. Most discussion centers on the quality of the briar and the sweetness of the smoke. I hear comments such as "I love my old Dunhill pipes, but these new ones ... I don't know."People I consider to be very knowledgeable on the subject of 20th Century briar swear that, by far, the sweetest smoke comes from those Dunhill pipes bearing a patent number (pre-1955); they will not even smoke those made after 1968, believed to be of substandard quality.The used pipe trade has followed the same trend - patent number Dunhills are commanding a higher price than those made from 1955-1968, and a still higher price than those made after 1968.Due to the mystique surrounding the older Dunhill pipe, there is, indeed, a need to explore any factual basis behind the "myth". This, reader, is the purpose of this article.Let's look at a bit of history behind the Dunhill pipe - from its inception to present day production. Alfred Dunhill was a rather inventive fellow, having taken a harness making concern into the automobile age by turning it to the manufacturer of auto accessories, and then operating as a "patent consultant". When he opened a tobacconist shop in 1907, he knew nothing beyond the ordinary of pipes, tobacco, and the art of blending. His curious mind prompted him to listen to his customers' wants and then to try different methods to satisfy those wants. By early 1910, Dunhill was ready to offer his own make of pipe as an alternative to those coming from France that were highly varnished and so clogged the pores of the briar. These first pipes were of two distinct internal designs: one followed the French design that is the standard non-filter design of today; the other, the "Absorbal" pipe, used a circular cellulose filter that was pushed into the hollowed-out body of the pipe shank. It is interesting to note here that these first Dunhill pipes and all Dunhill pipes made through 1919 had French-turned bowls that were then finished in London by the Dunhill firm.In 1912, Dunhill invented and patented the "inner tube", an aluminum insert designed to keep the pipe "innards" clean; in 1915, the "white spot" appeared to help the customer know which side of the hand-cut vulcanite stem should be uppermost; 1917 saw the introduction of the first Dunhill sandblast - the "Shell".In producing the "Shell", Dunhill used only Algerian briar, then in great abundance, because it had a softer character than the Italian briar used in the smooth "Bruyere" finish. This soft character, in combination with the heat derived from Dunhill's unique oil curing process, led to an unusually deep and craggy sandblasted pipe. In the early years of production, Dunhill would not even stamp shape numbers on his "shell" pipes, since the shape of identically turned bowls varied so after curing and sandblasting.Dunhill's "root briar" was introduced in 1930 (by this time, Alfred Dunhill was two years into retirement and his brother Herbert had charge of the business) and the light brown finish proved highly popular in America, less so in Europe. Next, some twenty three years later, came the "Tanshell" a sandblasted Sardinian briar with a tan or brown finish. It took twenty-six more years before another finish - the "Cumberland" - appeared. The Cumberland is also sandblasted, has a dark brown finish, a smooth beveled top, and a bi-color vulcanite stem (this same stem first appeared in 1930 on the root briar).As I mentioned previously, no Dunhill pipe was completely fashioned in England until 1920 when a bowl-turning section was opened in the London factory. Before this time "turned" but unfinished pipe bowls were imported from France and then finished, oil-cured and, in the case of "Shells", sandblasted in London.The briar situation must be investigated in order to compare the new Dunhill pipe with the old there have been changes. Originally, Italian briar had been used for the "Bruyere" and "Root", Algerian for the "Shell", and Sardinian for the "Tanshell". The age of the briar used, averaged between 60and 100 years. In the 1960's, the briar situation changed drastically. The Algerian supply slowed to a trickle, and the Italian government declared that its briar could only be used by pipe makers within its borders. To that time, Dunhill had a virtual monopoly on briar supply; now it had to search for new sources and could no longer reserve one type of briar for one pipe finish.This change was readily apparent in the "Shell" finish. Deprived of Algerian briar, Dunhill had to use Grecian briar, a harder variety, and so the "shell" pipe now received a more shallow sandblast. As well, the wood was less aged between 50 and 80 years. Additionally, the briar burls were smaller and had more flaws, so there were less perfect bowls being turned, and - more waste! Conversely, the new briar was harder, lighter, and had much better grain than the old. Dunhill was never known for beautiful grain patterns in its smooth-finished pipes, but those produced today are outstanding when compared with those of twenty years ago.In the manufacture of a quality pipe, much attention is paid to making and fitting the stem, or mouthpiece. Injection-molding methods are not used here; instead, each mouthpiece is hand-cut from sheet or rod vulcanite; the tenon is hand-cut and hand shaped to the correct circumference; and the mouthpiece is then hand-fitted to the pipe. The original Dunhill mouthpiece had quite a thick lip that I personally find quite uncomfortable. The "comfy" mouthpiece, with a thinner and wider lip, was developed in the 1920's, and the "F/T" (fishtail) mouthpiece was designed in the 1930's. In 1976,faced with rising labor costs, the firm used a mouthpiece-cutting machine. The machined mouthpieces had a very thick lip (much like the pre "comfy" lip); complaints poured in and the machine was scrapped. Present-day mouthpieces have a lip thickness somewhere between the "comfy" and the "F/T".I have visited the Dunhill pipe factory three times in the past two years and on each visit, I have had the opportunity not only to view every facet of pipe production, but also to converse with those in charge of production. During my visit in December 1980, I had a long conversation with David Webb, factory manager. Mr. Webb has been with Dunhill for the past five years, has been factory manager since late 1979, and is very knowledgeable. I had brought my personal collection of thirteen unsmoked Dunhills dating from 19201927 - nine Bruyeres and four Shells and three 1920 vintage "Shells" that I smoke. As Mr. Webb looked them over, he laughed: "If these Shell Briars came out of production today, half of them would land in the reject bin."Stunned, I asked: "Why?""In the case of the billiard, that's a very deep sandblast in spots, taking away about half the wall thickness; and the shank is out of line. The mouthpiece on the smaller billiard is much too thick where it meets the shank and would have to be cut down. The Prince is totally off-shape on one side of the bowl."I protested, stating that these were the very reasons for their great character."Yes, they do add character. And, to my mind, they are beautiful pipes. We can make them like this but ..." and he went on to explain that because Dunhill sells to a worldwide market, the firm tends to get pushed and pulled in different directions at the same time. On the Continent and in the Far East, there is no demand for deeply-shelled pipes; furthermore, these will often be returned to the factory as "not of Dunhill quality".An associate of David Webb, Bill Taylor, told me of the time he was working in quality control at the factory. Richard Dunhill came by and picked up one of the "Shells" Bill rejected."Why is this in the reject bin?""Because the sandblast is too deep and uneven.""This pipe has character. Send it to America. Americans know good pipes!"The Dunhill pipe has always been synonymous with the word quality in pipe making. Much of this value judgment, I feel, has to do with the firm's unique "oil curing" process invented by Alfred Dunhill. This process, in my estimation, does three things - it makes the tobacco taste unusually "nutty"; it has a very low rate of bowl "burn-out" compared with other makes; and, it helps the pipe to smoke well even after many years. This process is still very closely guarded by the firm and is not normally shown to visitors. I was shown the process because I brought a copy of the original patent with me and specifically raised the issue.In order to discern quality in a pipe, one has to look at only a few things (of course much of the real judgment is in the smoking): the turned and bored bowl; the shank bore; the tenon/ferrule connection; the lip of the mouthpiece; the look and feel of the finish. Dunhill, I submit, has as high a standard of quality as it has ever had. This does not mean that every Dunhill released for sale, today, is a perfect pipe, for some are not! What it does mean is that the percentage of imperfect Dunhills is no greater today than, say, 1924. I have discovered two imperfect pipes in my 1920-1927 collection.According to David Webb, the Dunhill pipe did have a problem in the mid-1970's, not so much with quality as with the outward signs of quality. Those in charge of policy at the time decided that the "Shell" must be totally black and shiny - a blue-black stain was used, eliminating any reddish highlights. At the same time, the "Bruyere" finish was lightened from its original plum color. These two changes have dampened the pipe's reputation and may be the cause for some criticism I have heard; but, even with these pipes, the underlying quality is still there. Since that time, of course, there has been a return to the original "Bruyere" finish, and the new "Deep Shell" has reached our shores in limited quantity.In comparing the Dunhill pipe of yesterday with that of today, what stands out is the continual evolvement of the pipe:· The original mouthpiece has changed to "comfy" to "FAT", to machine-made, and then to present-day standard - gaining and losing lip thickness with each change.· The briar has changed - age and the custom of reserving one type of briar for one finish have given way to gains in hardness, lightness, and better grain pattern.· The sandblasted "Shell" has changed - losing a very deep blast and gaining uniformity; then, regaining its deep, if more uniform blast.With these changes, the Dunhill standard of excellence has not diminished, at least in my practiced eye. Today's Dunhill pipe is not worse than yesterday's; it is not better than yesterday's; it is . . . different than yesterday's!------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Charatan PipesA Russian who arrives in England from Austria opens a workshop in London, hires employees, expands, acquires important clients, then leaves the firm to his son who succeeds in maintaining the firm?s excellent reputation. Following the bombing, business picks up again thanks to a German from America who buys the firm, alters the way it is run, and then sells it. The new, prestigious owner transfers the whole activity, sells off the brand, but then later repurchases it. Seen in this light, the history of such a glorious brand as Charatan seems to be somewhat reduced, but this is a brief description of what happens to most firms, with their ups and downs, changes, good and bad surprises, urgencies and emergencies, and in the meantime never forgetting the client?s needs. In this case the client only thinks of choosing a fine pipe to smoke, but when and if the client?s smoking equipment turns into a collection, this is no longer enough. The collection of models gradually increases, and the client wishes to examine them in more detail, seeking to determine  date and location of production. However, in order to do this there must be some sort of reference that may be consulted, which the companies, unfortunately, cannot always supply. This is because the ancient archives have frequently been destroyed by fires and other disasters, or else have been neglected or abandoned altogether. However, collectors are a tenacious breed:  they build up networks, exchange information, turn into catalogue hunters, library and internet bookworms, pipe archaeologists who are able to describe  a model through such minute details hardly perceptible to most smokers. Pipe firms and companies have only really realized the importance of collectors in the last few decades, and thus to meet their demands, as well as to increase production, they periodically issue a series of appealing, quality pipes. Prior to this, apart from some exceptions, the clients bought pipes to smoke and the manufacturers produced and sold them, making functional, logistic and commercial choices based on practical requirements, not on whether these would become future collectors? items. Nowadays, the well-know Dunhill code stamped on the pipe which enables collectors to determine precisely the pipe?s year of manufacture is a godsend for them, whereas in fact this practice had been introduced solely so that the annual guarantee could be honoured. On the other hand, Charatan never adopted this practice for the simple reason that the firm?s pipes would have had a lifetime guarantee, which undeniably was fine for the clients, but less so today for Charatan collectors.  Nevertheless, our indomitable heroes forge ahead, their favourite pastime being unearthing fleeting, slippery clues. The companies? vicissitudes obviously contributed to the loss of important information, but further  complications occurred due to the unique climate in the workshop. In fact, at least until Lane arrived on the scene, routine procedure among the expert pipe makers was frowned upon. Of course, stamps and codes were part of the process, but were not the most important part and were not always precise. When Lane and later Dunhill sought to impose some sort of classification, they were successful, but at the cost of losing some of the magic in the workshop. Furthermore, in order to attract more clients Lane himself increased the number of models and grades to the extent that today collectors have serious difficulties in gathering precise data. Moreover, there are those who do not stop at determining a period or model, but complicate their lives further by seeking models made by particular craftsmen. From pipe to pipe, and clue after clue, these resolute sleuths hunt down pipes by Reuben Charatan, Ken Barnes, and Barry Jones. Through details that only their expert eyes can see they try to distinguish between products from Mansell Street, Prescot Street, or Grosvenor Street. The top collectors are like that: the more difficult the enterprise, the better. However, for those who have a ?normal? collection of Charatan pipes, it is essential to identify some solid stepping stones amidst the quagmire of manufacturing information, which may be provided by examining the above-mentioned company vicissitudes.ERAS The logical move would be to split Charatan?s history into two eras, with 1962 as the dividing year, when Reuben?s widow sold off the business to Herman Lane. Thus, the first era deals with the family, and the second with the firm?s subsequent owners.  However, this would omit an important stage in Charatan?s history, the time when Lane ran the business and although Charatan was no longer run by the family, it was still autonomous, while following Dunhill?s purchase this was no longer possible and Charatan quickly became just a brand amongst others. Thus, we should really divide the history into three eras: the family, Lane, from Dunhill to Dunhill. In future a fourth era may be added: the family, Lane, difficult years and recovery under Dunhill, but the last era is really too recent to be able to consider it separately. Before examining the eras and periods in more detail it should be said that the information gathered from experts may not be complete and therefore may be integrated or altered with future findings. As mentioned earlier, Charatan?s manufacturing history is rather complex. FIRST ERA: THE FAMILY  c. 1873 to c. 1962 The two dates are to be considered approximate, as although it is known that the shop could not have been opened as early as 1863, it is also true that the year 1873 is also a rough estimate. On the other hand, we know that 1962 is the year in which Herman Lane bought the business, but it is also known that as early as 1955 or even the early 1950s Herman Lane was the sole distributor of Charatan pipes in the USA. Hence, 1962 is also an approximate year. The first era can be further divided into two periods: First period: Frederick Charatan c.1873 - 1910 Manufacturing was limited and a pipe was made to last a lifetime, so finding a pipe from this period is extremely rare. - Frederick designed a simple logo combining the initials of the words Charatan Pipes: a ?CP? with the P slightly lowered and the bottom part of the C linking with the P. The letters are fine.   - Apart from some exceptions the pipes are quite small (corresponding to Dunhill group 1 or 2).- Stem: May be in amber or horn, as well as in ebonite, and saddle shaped or tapered. The CP logo is stamped on it (but may sometimes be absent).  - Shank: The shape code is stamped on it together with the nomenclature ?CHARATAN'S MAKE LONDON ENGLAND" arranged in two lines. This could simply refer to Charatan?s production, but some experts suggest that ?make? could imply that the model is entirely hand-crafted.   A subtlety that Herman Lane would later make clearer. Second period: Reuben Charatan  1910 ? c. 1962  - In 1962 Herman Lane took over the business from the Charatan family, although he had already influenced production from the 1950s. - The pipes were mostly larger than the previous ones and corresponded in size to Dunhill group 5. These are slightly less rare, but still difficult to find. - Stem: Usually in ebonite, saddle shaped or tapered, bearing a fine ?CP? stamp. Underboar system (see below) used when necessary.- Shank: The shape code is stamped on it together with the nomenclature ?CHARATAN'S MAKE LONDON ENGLAND? arranged in two lines. From 1955 onwards on the models marketed for the USA there is also a serif and circled capital ?L? (but not all models bear this) which resembles the pound sterling symbol. The ?L? is for Lane, the importer.  From 1958, Lane changed the nomenclature for models marketed for the US to clarify the message: ?MADE BY HAND?.- In this period the Underboar was introduced. Its manufacturing period ranged between 1920 and c.1930. This model was equipped with a duralumin plunger trap fitted in the stem, which served to clean the residue more easily. This particular model bore a special stamp on the stem, and also had its own catalogue.SECOND ERA: HERMAN LANE  c. 1962 ? 1976 While Herman Lane in the latter part of the first era had a certain influence on production and import to the US market, the business really took off when he bought the firm from the Charatan family, as he controlled everything now. However, initially changes were almost imperceptible, and it was only when Ben Wade closed down in Leeds and all machinery moved to London that Lane brought about some radical changes, paying particular attention to marketing. This is why it would be better to divide this era into two separate periods.  To facilitate classification each era will be divided into various periods in numerical sequence.  Third period: Lane prior to Ben Wade closure  c.1962 ? 1965 These years can be considered a kind of continuation of the previous decade, as Wade increasingly influenced Charatan production without betraying Charatan?s traditional spirit. - As before, the maximum pipe size is equivalent to Dunhill group 5, and these are generally less rare. - Stem: apart from some exceptions, almost always in ebonite, frequently saddle-shaped or Double Comfort saddle type, but never tapered. The saddle stem fits into the shank perfectly and has a flattened part. On the other hand, the Double Comfort features a saddle stem with a stepped bit, which is shorter. This type of stem dates from the beginning of the third period, although again this is approximate. Indeed, some experts even date it back to the beginning of WWII. The stem bears a thicker Charatan logo (CP).Shank: If there is a Double Comfort stem, the shape code is followed by ?DC?, if not the shape code is followed by an ?X?. Pipes made for the American market bear the Lane logo with a serif, circled capital L. The stamp ?CHARATAN'S MAKE - LONDON ENGLAND? is arranged in two lines, and on some models the shank bears the script: ?MADE BY HAND?. Fourth period: Lane following Ben Wade closure  1965 - 1976 The acquisition of the Ben Wade machinery brought about some substantial changes to manufacturing. Some ?seconds? pipes still bore the Charatan logo, while others bore the Ben Wade brand logo. Some pipes were also commissioned to Willmer, the British manufacturers and Preben Holm, the Danish workshop. All these circumstances and others that we will add created considerable confusion and inconsistencies in production, and the distinctive precision of the previous ?British Style? was a thing of the past.  - Features are similar to pipes from the previous period, but there are some changes:- Shank: The nomenclature ?CHARATAN'S MAKE - LONDON ENGLAND?  is stamped in three lines. Pipes stamped with ?MADE BY HAND in City of London? arranged in three lines was adopted briefly in 1965, for about six months. The same nomenclature was used after that date, still arranged in three lines, but instead of using capital letters for the first part, the pipes now bore lower case script:    ?Made by Hand - In - City of London?.THIRD ERA: FROM DUNHILL TO DUNHILL  1977 - present - Dunhill acquired the Charatan brand in 1976, and for the first six months production went on as before. Real changes started to be made in 1977, increasing radically as time went by, which culminated in the closure of the London workshop and transfer of all manufacturing to Walthamstow in 1982. This date marks the transition from the first to the second Dunhill period. Dunhill then sold the Charatan brand to James B. Russel and the third Dunhill period is characterized by Dunhill?s reacquisition of the Charatan brand. Fifth period: Dunhill I 1977 -1981 Features are similar to previous production, except for some differences. - Stem: Up to the end of 1980 the CP logo is the same, with the C penetrating the P, but after that the C and P are separate. - Shank: Although Lane sold off the brand, the ?L? for Lane is still stamped on pipes imported by him for the American market.  Some experts suggest that the ?L? was present only until 1980, but this has to be verified. In any case, the nomenclature in cursive script ?Made by Hand in City of London? in three lines was present until 1979 and subsequently ?CHARATAN'S MAKE LONDON ENGLAND? was displayed in three lines. An X appears after the shape code for a saddle stem (rare) or ?DC? for Double Comfort. It is important to check that the ?DC? is not out of line with the shape code, as this means that the pipe is from an earlier production and the DC was added later on. - Shank: Some pipes produced around 1978 bear the stamp ?Chippendale?, which were manufactured by Charatan (Dunhill) for Tinderbox, an American chain store selling smoking equipment.  - Stem: Chippendale pipes manufactured by Charatan belong to the Belvedere series and bear the stamp ?CD? instead of ?CP?. Sixth period: Dunhill II  1982 -1987 Specialist newspapers of the time sadly announced the closure of the Grosvenor Street factory. Althoughthis does not mark a division between two periods in production, nevertheless it was a breaking point of no return. From that time on radical changes were made, even if they did not have a great impact on the features being examined. Here are some of the differences:- Stem: The CP logo is the new one, the two letters being separate. - Shank: The stamp ?CHARATAN'S MAKE LONDON ENGLAND? is still displayed in three lines. Some experts believe that this period marks the absence of the ?L? for Lane, but Lane continued to import until the Charatan brand was sold to Russell in 1987. Seventh period: James.B. Russel  1988 - 2001 Production was moved to France. - Stem: Double Comfort. In addition to the new, clearly stamped CP, there is the stamp ?FRANCE".- Shank: The stamp ?CHARATAN of London? (?of London? in cursive script) to which is added ?FRANCE? occasionally. The ?L? for Lane is no longer present. - To be more precise: the ?FRANCE? stamp is not always present on the pipes, and when it is, it may be displayed on the stem or shank. Eighth period: Dunhill III  2002 - present There is not much to say on the history of these new pipes for the moment. Catalogues can be consulted online to view the models, and pipes can be bought. However, one feature is the return of the C that penetrates the P once again, displayed on the stem, and on the shank the script  ?CHARATAN'S MAKE LONDON ENGLAND?. Charatan is back.SUMMARY We shall now continue our study from another point of view, by examining how the stem and shank have evolved over time: Stem: Originally in ebonite, amber or horn. Up to the second era it was only in ebonite, apart from a few exceptions. As for its shape, in the first and second era it was tapered or saddle shaped. The  Double Comfort was introduced at the end of the second era and was soon adopted in most Charatan pipes.  The tapered stem was absent, apart from some rare cases of special series. The saddle stem was for a long time present in some models, but later disappeared.   The stem bore the CP logo, where the C penetrated the P until about 1980, and then reappeared in the eighth period.  In the first two eras the logo?s script was fine, but later became thicker. In the seventh period the script was more marked. However, there are quite a few variatons on this and experts have to examine all the details, distinguishing between the different stamps used in  certain eras (rather like stamp collecters). We will not go into this now. Shank: The size and shape of the scripts stamped on them vary more or less according to the era and even during one single era. The nomenclature ?MADE BY HAND? was introduced during the third period of the second era, but not all pipes bore this script. From the third period on, the shape code was followed by an X on saddle stems and rare tapered stems, and  ?DC? in the case of Double Comfort stems.  The ?L? for Lane appeared for the first time when pipes were made exclusively for the American market, and help us to identify the period. However,  the L was absent sometimes on pipes that were exported to America, while pipes for the European market sometimes bore this stamp. When Lane sold the firm to Dunhill, he still continued to import to the USA and so the L remained on the pipes. However, once Dunhill sold the firm to James B. Russell, the L disappeared. QUALITY GRADES The stem did not only display the stamps mentioned above. Another stamp that can help dating is the one referring to the quality of the pipe. Until Herman Lane arrived on the scene there were four quality grades. Starting with the lowest: Belvedere, Executive, Selected, and Supreme. Lane went on to add higher grades from time to time: Supreme S, Supreme S100, S150, S200, S250, S300, Coronation, Royal Achievement, Crown Achievement, and Summa Cum Laude; these last three are extremely rare and almost impossible to find. He also invented other, different grades, even changing the previous pipe classification standards. We will not go into detail here, but it means that if we find an S100 or Coronation the pipe was manufactured following Herman Lane?s acquisition. In particular, the FH mark, or Freehand pipe was commissioned to the famous Danish craftsman, Preben Holm. We shall leave further detailed analyses and dating to the experts, an enterprise that has only just begun, but which is at the same time surprising and highly satisfying for those who are prepared to rise to the challenge. Milan, July 2011Buy Charatan Pipes---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Pipe Restoration: a Skill Often Neglected by the Tobacconistby Thomas C. Wolfe©1982 T.C. WolfeA customer walks into your shop and tells you that he just inherited a collection of old pipes from a relative. "What do I do to make them smokable?" he asks. You tell him how to use pipe sweetener and (if you're good at your job) you offer to polish the old bits for him. He leaves with pipe cleaners and a bottle of sweetener. You feel good. You made a sale and helped a customer, but have you really helped him? Actually, you've just let opportunity walk out the door. Most pipe smokers have neither the time, nor the skill, to be able to restore pipes to their best smoking condition and their original beauty. The tars and oils, in a pipe that hasn't been smoked for years, will resist the best efforts to remove them with just sweetener. Neglected pipes will show signs of finish wear that can't just be glossed over with a polishing cloth. In spite of your good intentions, that customer of yours will probably never get full smoking enjoyment out of those pipes. Every tobacconist should be knowledgeable in the art of pipe restoration. He should be able to thoroughly clean out a pipe . . . far better than just using pipe sweetener. Polishing bits and reaming bowls, of course, comes with the job. Just how thorough are you, when you are cleaning shanks? And what about the bowl? Buffing with carnauba wax won't help much if the stain has worn off. You may just windup turning a Comoy Golden Grain into a natural. Pipe restoration can be broken down into three basic subjects: cleaning, refinishing, and repair. Let's discuss cleaning first, since you are probably familiar with it. Most shops have a buffing wheel for polishing bits and bowls. If your shop doesn't have one you're not providing full service to our customer. You can make a good buffer for about $50 from a used 1/4 hp. washing machine motor, and parts from a hardware store. You can prevent your shop from filling with dust by adding a vent hood made from plywood (or sheet metal) and a small shop vacuum. I highly recommend Sears All-Purpose buffing compound for polishing both bits and it's the best on the market -- bar none! A difficult part of buffing stems is cleaning the oxidation that forms near the lip. Buff too hard and you?ll round the lip (perhaps even burning the vulcanite). Use a sharp knife to lightly scrape off the heavy oxidation that forms near the lip, then buff as usual. You will save wear and tear on bits this way. You can prevent the bit from rapidly oxidizing by buffing the polished bit with a light coat of carnauba wax. Cleaning the shank is rarely done properly. Pipe cleaners or a Bristle brush (even with sweetener) will rarely get all of the tar buildup found at the very end of the mortise hole. (Fig.1)  You can make a highly effective shank reamer by grinding the tip off a 1/4" drill bit square. Mount the drill shank in a small file handle, and you're ready to go. (Fig. 2) To thoroughly clean and sterilize the inside of a pipe, ordinary pipe sweetener just doesn't cut the cake. For you disbelievers, clean out one of your own pipes with sweetener, then try the boiling alcohol method on that "clean" pipe. You just won't believe the junk that will come out! To clean a pipe with boiling alcohol, you will need two simple tools: an alcohol lamp and a small retort. Figures3 and 4 show you how to make them both for only a few cents. Many hobby shops that carry chemistry sets can provide you with quality retorts and alcohol lamps. The choice of alcohol is important. Use either wood alcohol (methanol) or denatured alcohol for best results. Rubbing alcohol doesn't work well.  [Pure grain alcohol (ethanol) is perfect if you can find it.  It's available in some states under the brand name of EverClear. - TW]Fill the retort with alcohol about two-thirds full. Attach the tubing over the pipe's bit. (A 1/4" slit in the surgical tubing; will make it easier to fit onto pipe bits.) To prevent the alcohol from damaging the bowl's finish, Place a small cotton ball in the mouth of the bowl. Pass the retort slowly back and forth over the flame. As the alcohol boils up into the pipe, remove the retort from the flame. As the retort cools, the alcohol will be sucked out of the pipe and into the retort. By repeated heating and cooling the retort, you can flush the pipe with boiling alcohol several times. Once the alcohol turns black with tar, replace it with some fresh liquid. After about a dozen flushes, remove the retort and clean the pipe with `bristle cleaners or a nylon brush. Let the pipe dry out at least six hours before smoking. You?ll be utterly amazed at how well the pipe will smoke. Pipe repair is one part of restoration that should be left to the repair shop. Although some repair shops offer full restoration services, even they can sometimes make matters worse. How many times have you had a customer complain that the repair shop gave their pipe a two-tone shank? What has happened is that the repairman turned down the shank to fit the bit, instead of vice versa. Normally, then will turn an oversize bit down to match the contours of the outside of the shank. But sometimes they are forced to turn down the shank because they don't have a large enough bit in stock. Even the best of repair shops (including Dunhill's in NY) have been known to do this on occasion, but if this happens often, then find another repair shop.So here you are with this two-tone shank and an angry customer on your hands. What will you do? You can and should complain to the repair shop, but returning the pipe means another long delay for your customer. If you pick up an item from a shoe repair shop, you can have it ready for him the next day. (Yes, I did say shoe repair.) It seems that a long kept secret of some pipe repair shops is using shoe dye to touch up their mistakes. Lightly stain the shank with the dye. Let it dry, then buff to match the pipe?s finish. Stain the wood too dark? A little alcohol on a cloth will lighten it up. Shoe leather dye (not shoe polish) is virtually identical to the alcohol-based wood stains used by Pipe manufacturers. Unlike wood stains found in hardware stores, shoe dye does not cover up the grain of the wood, it enhances it. Most shoe repair shops carry dyes in dark brown (walnut), Brown (rosewood), Light Brown (mahogany), Black (ebony), and Cordovan (plum). The Light Brown dye is exceptionally useful in matching the original finish on high grade Charlatan and other pipes with a golden finish. Brown (or medium brown) works best on red and maroon pipes. By using several coats, you can match most red finishes. Dark Brown is true brown dye that will renew 'walnut' finish Pipes. Black can produce a superb ebony color with a little practice, but it really shows its stuff when touching up black sandblasts. Shoe dye can be used not only for touchup, but also to totally refinish a pipe. Let's say, for example, say you are overstocked with dozens of house-brand walnut pipes that just don?t sell. Apply a little elbow grease, and 320 grit sandpaper to remove the old finish. Then stain the pipes with shoe dye. Vary the color and number of coats to produce a variety of finishes. Then sit back and let your customers tell you which one to stick with. Leave the pipe unpolished for a matt finish, or buff and wax to a high gloss. The choices are yours. Another variation of this technique involves the use of a Dremel Moto-Tool. If after sanding down one of your no-names you discover fills, don't fret. You can use the Dremel's high-speed cutting tips to carve out the weak areas of the bowl. By using assorted cutters, you can create a nice panel effect such as found on the Karl Erikand Micoli pipes. Develop your technique on scrap lumber before tackling briar. To create a carved two-tone effect, first stain the entire pipe with one of the brown dyes. Next, stain only the carved area with black dye. Now polish the pipe on a buffer, only the low spots of the carving will remain black. The trick to this technique is to develop an interesting texture to the carving. BE consistent from pipe to pipe.This may sound like an awful lot of work just to sell a second, but you will be creating salable merchandise from your real dogs. I don't recommend this technique on brand name pipes, as I am sure that your sales rep would have heart attack on his next visit. By practicing on your losers, you will become ready for the next phase of the pipe restorer's art -- antique briars. Pre-transition Barlings and Dunhill ODA's are among the most sought after pipes in the "used wood" market. Many pipe stores are discovering the value of dealing in "estate pipes.? Rarely do these pipes arrive in the shop in pristine condition. Often a pipe will show scratches and dings around the mouth of the bowl. The finish may be uneven, or even nonexistent. Occasionally one may show heavy damage, such as a chipped bowl or cigarette burns. Restoring the finish on valuable pipes is risky. Many repair shops won't offer this service for this reason. It might be worth the risk, since the better the finish on a "previously owned" pipe, the easier it is to sell. Even if you do not refinish pipes, yourself, it is valuable to know how it can be done. Minor burns and scratches can often be handled in our own shop with a little sandpaper and shoe dye. Even the tops of badly worn bowls can be sanded flat, and then shaped to match the original contour of the bowl. This technique will work on most smooth finish pipes as long as you don't remove too much wood. Avoid sanding the pipe near the stamped trademarks, if possible. Quite often the pipe will have the surface varnish missing. Despite the party line, most manufacturers do use an oil finish on many of their pipes. This is not spar varnish, polyurethane, or shellac (although shellac stains are used in 'drugstore? pipes). The best varnish available to the tobacconist is Formby's Tung Oil.Remove what's left of the old varnish with an acetone soaked cloth. Then evenly stain and polish the pipe. Apply the Tung Oil, using several light coats. Finally, use our loose buffing wheel to apply a light coat of carnauba wax. Remember, despite what the reps may tell you, the varnish is applied under the wax, not over it. Refinishing antique meerschaum pipes is beyond the scope of this article. If you are interested, I'll suggest studying Ben Rapaport's excellent book, Complete Guide to Collecting Antique Pipes (Schiffer Publishing, Box E, Exton, PA 19341). In chapter 11, my colleague and mentor, Doug Murphy, discusses meerschaum refinishing in detail. Learning the techniques of pipe restoration will broaden the scope of services that you can offer your customers. Service is the key word of the success of a modern smoke shop. Even if you prefer to use the services of a repair shop, you can earn extra income for your shop by recommending restoration to your customers.A final word to the wise; Practice with pipes from your reject bin before you attempt to restore your customer?s favorite pipe.END--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SasieniBy Stephen P. SmithAn early 8-dot ?Arundel?, courtesy G.L.PeaseLovely 8-dot ?Bedford?, courtesy G.L.Pease?Buckingham,? a classic large billiard quite similar to the Dunhill LBS shape, courtesy G.L.Pease1926 8-dot, shape #44, plum finish, courtesy G.L.PeaseTapered bulldogs. The upper Rustic is an early 1-dot (single dot on each side of the stem). The Rough Root below is a later 4-dot version in the ?Brooklands? shape. Courtesy G.L.PeaseAn early 4-dot ?Danzey? bent bulldog sporting Pat. No. 150221/20.In his book, ?The Ultimate Pipe Book?, Richard Carleton Hacker writes American pipe collectors ?seem to be more preoccupied with ?smokable? brand names, of which the most collectible are Dunhill, Barling, Sasieni, and Charatan.? Theodore Justin Gage, the former publisher of the much missed ?The Compleat Smoker?, called Sasieni pipes a ?fascinating collectible, ?representing all that is good about classic English pipe making.? And for good reason: the pipes made by the Sasieni company between the years 1919 and 1979 rank among the very best the London pipe industry had to offer. They featured superb wood, flawless bowls, outstanding smoking qualities, and a styling that was uniquely theirs.Yet for all that, Sasieni?s are among the most underrated pipes on the collectible market, usually selling for far below their real worth. In this, they offer the astute collector a genuine opportunity, whether he or she is looking for a pipe with potential for appreciation, or simply a great pipe at a reasonable price.However, in order for the collector to capitalize on this, it is vitally important to realize the Sasieni company changed hands on two occasions, and each owner had different priorities and agendas. Not surprisingly, this was reflected in the quality of the pipes made during these different times. All bore the Sasieni name, and yet they were very different pipes.It is possible to divide the Sasieni history into three eras, similar to Barling. In fact, throughout this article, I will be referring to ?Pre-Transition, Transition, and Post-Transition? Sasieni?s. While this may raise a few eyebrows, I believe it will become clear these classifications are actually quite appropriate.Therefore, it will also become clear a collector must be able to distinguish between Sasieni?s of different eras, as it is mainly the family made pieces made between 1919 and 1979 which are truly desirable to collectors. The dual purposes of this article, then, are to trace the history of the Sasieni pipe, and to enable collectors to judge, with a reasonable degree of certainty, when the Sasieni in question was made.A Brief History of the Sasieni CompanyThere is a great deal of mystery surrounding the Sasieni pipe, owing largely to the fact there is such a paucity of written information about them, as is the case with many collectible pipes. Even the name of the founder has been subject to debate. One respected source says the founder was named ?Joel? Sasieni. Another equally respected source says with equal certainty the name was ?Joseph? Sasieni. (A third, rather less reliable source once told me ?Joel? and ?Joseph? were brothers, but I think we can safely dismiss that.) An old Sasieni catalog which I came maddeningly identifies the founder as ?J. Sasieni?. However, some research at the U. S. Patent Office conclusively shows that his first name was Joel.Joel Sasieni apprenticed at Charatan, and moved on to Dunhill, where he eventually rose the position of factory manager. Many men would have been perfectly satisfied with such a position, but not Mr. Sasieni. He opened up his own factory in 1919, believing he could improve on some of Dunhill?s methods. Mr. Sasieni was, if nothing else, an optimist.Things did not go smoothly for the new firm. The factory burned down almost immediately. Apparently undaunted, Mr. Sasieni simply rebuilt the factory and carried on.One change he incorporated in his pipes was the method of curing the bowls. While the briar blocks were air cured, similar to Barling, Sasieni took this process a step further by ?oven curing? his pipes. Each pipe was cured in an oven over a period of six weeks, being removed periodically by a factory worker, who would wipe away the moisture as it emerged from the bowl with a rag, and check it for cracks. The end result was Sasieni pipes (the ones that survived) were extremely dry smoking.Sasieni was not oblivious to the success Dunhill had achieved with its famous ?White Spot? logo, and while he obviously couldn?t copy the logo exactly, he apparently saw no problem with reinterpreting it a bit. Therefore, each Sasieni pipe which came out of the factory had a single blue dot in the stem.Not surprisingly, the idea of their former employee competing with them using a very similar trademark didn?t exactly make Dunhill?s day. They threatened legal action in both the U. K. and the U. S.. Sasieni was saved in England by that country?s rather vague trademark laws, and the Sasieni One Dot continued to be produced for the European market for several decades.Sasieni was not so fortunate in the U. S., where by the early 1920?s Sasieni had found an enthusiastic audience. In an initial attempt to comply with U. S. patent law, Sasieni moved the one blue dot to the side of the pipe. This unfortunately didn?t do the trick, and only a few side dot Sasieni?s were ever made, which are now extremely rare and collectible.So, thanks in part to Dunhill?s patent attorneys, one of the most famous logos in the pipe industry was born. To clearly differentiate his pipes from Dunhill?s, and also to distinguish the American market pipes from all others (American market pipes originally only had a three month guarantee, although by the mid 1930?s this was extended to one year) Sasieni put four blue dots on the stem of his pipes, arranged in the shape of an elongated diamond.The distinctive logo was an immediate hit in the U. S., where it, along with the pipes? exceptional smoking qualities, helped the pipe to sell in such quantities the factory had trouble keeping up with the demand. In fact, by the 1930?s over 90% of Sasieni?s production was going to American shores.Ah, but we Americans are a restless lot. We just don?t know when to leave well enough alone. So enamored had the U. S. market become of the four blue dots, the importer wanted to make sure they could be seen by everyone standing on each side of the smoker. Therefore Sasieni, reluctantly by some accounts, agreed to put four more dots on the right side of the stem.The Sasieni Eight Dot is now the most collectible of all Sasieni pipes, due to both its scarcity and the fact that, unlike other Sasieni?s, the collector can be reasonably certain when the pipe was made. The Eight Dot made its debut in the late 1920?s or very early 1930?s, and was discontinued during W.W.II due to the inevitable shortages of supplies. Like the Four Dot, the Eight Dot had its logo made by individually inserting rods of blue plastic into pre-drilled holes in the stem, similar to the process used by Dunhill for their one white spot.This was an excruciatingly difficult procedure, even on the Four Dot, for each dot had to be placed just right in order to create the desired diamond shape, and on the Eight Dot, both sets had to be symmetrical. For all that, it is rare to find a an original Sasieni bit in which the dots are even the slightest bit off. This in itself bears testimony to the fastidiousness with which Mr. Sasieni applied his craft. It also makes it fairly easy to spot a fake Sasieni stem.Both the Eight Dot and the Four Dot were marketed in the U. S. during the pre-war years, with the Eight Dot fetching more money, even though both pipes used the same wood.The post war years brought many changes at the Sasieni company, not the least of which was the death of Mr. Sasieni himself, in 1946. His son Alfred (named, perhaps, for his father?s arch-rival and former boss?) proved a worthy successor to his fathers? business, and the company continued to thrive under his leadership. About this time the company started stamping ?Four Dot? on the shanks of the pipes, to further capitalize on the now famous trademark?s prestige. There were other changes in both the shank nomenclature and the dots themselves, which will be reviewed in detail later on.Through the post war years, Sasieni added shapes and lines. While the Four Dot remained their most famous product, the company also sold lines of ?seconds? under various names, such as Mayfair, Fantail, Olde English, and Friar. These were pipes made of good wood, but possessed of some flaw, usually filled with putty. Pipes that were almost, but not quite, good enough to be a Four Dot were sold as Two Dots. I have two of these pipes in my collection. Both pipes are quite striking, exhibiting exquisite shapes and exceptional grain. At first I wondered why they were not Four Dots. Eventually, after long inspection, I discovered each pipe contained one very small filled flaw. In spite of this they remain two of my favorite pipes. However, it is clear Sasieni was determined to put the Four Dot logo on only the most perfect pipes.1921 Sasieni Apple, courtesy Doug Valitchka  Alfred Sasieni continued to run the company prosperously until 1979, when he sold out to another firm. Interestingly, he stayed on in the capacity of a director. At first it seems to have been a harmonious partnership. The new owners started their tenure with a limited edition reissue Eight Dot. This was a generous sized, natural stained smooth pipe which occasionally also had a gold band. Each pipe had a blue string running through the bowl, shank, and stem, affixed with a lead stamp and paper tab signed by Alfred Sasieni himself. These pipes are both strikingly handsome and maddeningly elusive, due to the fact only 100 (or so, accounts differ) were ever made.This spirit of cooperation between the old and new owners does not appear to have lasted long. Alfred Sasieni believed only vulcanite should be used for pipe stems, eschewing the newer, trendier Lucite. When the new owners, contrary to Alfred?s wishes, issued a new Ten Dot, replete with Lucite stem, it seems Alfred decided he had had enough, and left the firm for good.The new owners of what can accurately be called the ?Transition? firm continued to create high quality pipes using the old wood and methods they inherited from the Alfred days. However, these pipes are not as collectible as the family pipes, and it is necessary for the collector to be able to differentiate between the two.The new owners do not appear to have retained their interest in pipe making for very long, as they sold the company again in 1986. Unfortunately, this new, ?Post-Transition? firm decided to abandon the high grade market place, and instead transformed the Sasieni into a mid range ?smoker?, a metamorphosis from which it has yet to recover. The news owners decided to capitalize on the Four Dot mystique by eliminating all ?second? lines, and issuing practically everything under the Sasieni banner as a Four Dot. This had the inevitable effect of lowering the overall quality of the line. For the first time, it was possible to find a Four Dot with a putty fill, which would have been unheard of when the family ran the company. Even the ?Transition? firm maintained the integrity of the Four Dot line by marketing flawed pipes under some other line.Ironically, it is generally agreed the two most active markets in this country today are the ?high end? and ?low end? markets, with the middle $35-$100 range being the most sluggish?precisely where the new Sasieni?s are now being marketed. Fortunately, fairly obvious changes in the nomenclature?to say nothing of the presence of putty?make it easy to spot a ?Post-Transition? Sasieni.Dating a SasieniNo, this has nothing to do with asking the pipe to go out to the movies with you. As I have mentioned before, it is important to be able to date a Sasieni which you are contemplating purchasing. Pre-Transition Sasieni?s, as I will now call them, are obviously the most collectible and desirable, with the Transition pipes being marginally collectible (although the commemorative Eight Dot, when you can find one, is extremely collectible), and the Post-Transition Sasieni?s having little or no collector value at all.Unlike Dunhill?s, Sasieni?s (and in fact most pipes) do not have an explicit system for dating the pipe to the year. However, by understanding an admittedly somewhat arcane combination of nomenclature, patent numbers, and dot arrangements, it is possible to narrow your Sasieni?s date of manufacture to within a certain era, and sometime even down to a certain decade.Ironically, the pre-W.W.II pipes are easier to date than the post war pipes, because Joel Sasieni was always fiddling with the details which help to date the pipe. Son Alfred seems to have made some initial changes in the nomenclature after taking over the company in 1946, and been content to leave well enough alone. Sasieni nomenclature changed very little between 1950 and 1979, although the company continued to develop new shapes and finishes.To begin with, there are three main elements to dating the Sasieni pipe, the patent number, the style of the name ?Sasieni? as it appears on the shank, and the Dots themselves. Naturally, there are exceptions to these rules (this hobby would be boring without them), but for the most part these guidelines apply better than 95% of the time. All Sasieni One, Four, and Eight Dot pipes made before W.W.II and destined for the U. S. market carried a patent number on the shank which usually started with the numbers ?15?, with 150221/20 and 1513428 being representative of the group. Also, the name ?Sasieni? was stamped on the shank in a very florid manner, with the tail of the last ?i? sweeping underneath the name forming a shape which has been compared to a fish by more than one collector. This script was discontinued by Alfred almost immediately after he took over the company, so this alone tells you your pipe is pre W.W.II. Underneath in block lettering are the words ?London Made?, with the patent number making the third line.The dots will help you narrow this down further. As we mentioned, the short lived U. S. market One Dot was introduced around 1920, and was replaced by the early to mid 1920?s by the Four Dot. The 1920?s Four Dot is distinguishable by the florid Sasieni script, a patent number, and four blue dots, which are quite small compared to the pipes of post war years. Furthermore, by 1935 Sasieni began stamping pipes, based on the shape, with their own names, which were usually, but not always, English towns. For example, apples were stamped ?Hurlingham?, bulldogs were ?Grosvenor? or ?Danzey?, and panels were ?Lincoln?. One rare and interesting variation of this was the large bent, dubbed ?Viscount Lascelles?. Even in this soft Sasieni market, these pipes regularly sell for $150 in their rare appearances in mailers.1920's 1-dot in pristine condition. The florid script with the sweeping "fish" in the name Sasieni can be clearly seen in this example - Courtesy of Mike AhmadiAs mentioned above, the Eight Dot appeared in the late 1920?s or early 1930?s. These too have the florid script and the patent number, and the presence or absence of a town name will help you date this pipe fairly precisely. Although the Eight Dot remained in the catalogue through the war, it was for all intents and purposes discontinued during W.W.II.Once Alfred took over the company in 1946, these elements changed in fairly rapid succession. The first thing to be changed was the nomenclature itself. In place of the elaborate ?Sasieni? stamp of pre war pipes, a simpler, though still script style, ?Sasieni? was used. This can be seen on patent pipes which have the small, old style dots.Soon after, Sasieni enlarged the dots themselves, and they formed an equilateral rather than an elongated diamond. My pet theory on this is the dots were enlarged to make up for the fact there were no longer eight of them, but I can?t prove it. Finally the patent number was discontinued, and the words ?Four Dot? were added. The shank thus read:Sasieni Four Dot London Made. Somewhat later still, this was modified to reflect the finish, e.g. Four Dot Walnut, or Four Dot Natural. All these changes seem to have been made in the years between 1946 and 1950. Therefore a pipe with new style dots and old style stamping almost certainly has a replacement stem.This system changed little if at all in the ensuing thirty years. When the company was sold in 1979, one of the first things the new owners did was to eliminate the town names from the shanks. The dots were enlarged yet further, and the Sasieni name, though still done in script, was larger, as was the rest of the shank nomenclature, which in all other ways was similar to the Pre-Transition nomenclature. While these pipes are not as collectible as the family made pipes, they were made with care and are high quality.The nomenclature changed again in 1986, with the sale of the company to the Post-Transition firm. The three line nomenclature was changed to two lines, with the first reading ?Sasieni 4 Dot? and the second identifying the finish, e.g. Natural, Walnut, or Ruff Root. Note how 4 Dot is spelled, using an Arabic numeral 4, as opposed to spelling out the word ?four?. This is the easiest way to spot a Post-Transition Sasieni, as the new company has used both script and block lettering to spell the word ?Sasieni? on the shank.As mentioned above, there are exceptions to these guidelines, which can be frustrating. Probably the most feared aberration in our neatly constructed Sasieni universe is the European One Dot. As may be remembered, Sasieni had no problem keeping his original trademark in Europe in spite of Dunhill?s best efforts to the contrary. This led to the pipe being manufactured for European markets until the sixties. If in doubt, check the rest of the nomenclature. Old style stamping (just think of the fish) means an old pipe.The most difficult to distinguish from 1920?s era U. S. One Dots are the European One Dots made in the 30?s and 40?s. Here you just have to know your patent numbers and hope for the best, bearing in mind virtually any pre war Sasieni is collectible. In any event, these pipes are rarely found in the U. S..A few other pipes, such as the plum finished pipes, kept their patent number after the war. Again, knowing your dots and script styles will help keep you from mis-dating these pipes.Why Collect Sasieni?s?There are many reasons to collect these pipes, ranging from the purely monetary to the aesthetic and esoteric. While I personally do not collect pipes to make money, nor do I advise same, the fact remains a high grade, flawless, first quality pipe that currently sells for less than $100, and often less than $50, surely must have some potential for appreciation. No less an authority than the late Barry Levin himself once told me he felt Sasieni?s were severely under valued, but as time went by they would eventually take their rightful place next to Dunhill and Barling, as people came to appreciate the wonderful qualities of this pipe.There are many theories regarding the soft market for these pipes, the most logical and most accepted of which points to the low price of the currently made pipes. Sellers are often reluctant to price a pre-smoked pipe higher than an unsmoked one of the same brand, and buyers reluctant to pay more.. It is important to remember, though, there is a vast difference in quality between the Pre-Transition and Post-Transition Sasieni?s. The older pipes should sell for more than the new ones, simply because their quality is so much higher.Monetary considerations aside, there are many other reasons to collect Sasieni?s. First, unlike many collectible pipes, the Sasieni is actually quite datable, contrary to popular belief. The ability to date a Sasieni at least within a certain era, and sometimes within a decade, not only deepens our appreciation of these pipes, it also ensures we spend our money wisely.Furthermore, there is the company itself. Sasieni was a family owned company, run by people who took deep pride in their work. The firm has an interesting history, with links to two of England?s other great firms, Dunhill and Charatan, whose influence can occasionally be seen in Sasieni pipes.Most importantly, there is the pipe itself. Sometimes it almost seems as though collectors forget the ultimate purpose of a pipe is to deliver a great smoke. Pre-Transition Sasieni?s fulfilled this purpose admirably, and continue to do so. The old Sasieni?s were renowned for being extremely dry smoking, and even today a well cared for Sasieni will deliver a cool, dry smoke, even though the pipe may be over seventy years old. While Pre-Transition Sasieni?s are usually available only on a pre-smoked basis, occasionally one can still be found unsmoked by the fortunate collector.On top of all this, the pipe is truly pleasing to the eye. The wood is full grained, usually featuring striking cross cuts and astonishing birds-eye, as well as the occasional straight grain. The Four and Eight Dot, as well as the early One Dot pipes always had clean bowls. Any pipe with even a tiny fill was relegated to the ?second? line.One virtue of Sasieni?s which I rarely if ever see commented on deserves mention here. The Sasieni shape line, particularly prior to the war, has an undeserved reputation for being limited and overly conservative. Yet by 1935 their catalogue listed no less than 50 different shapes! As one acquires more of these pipes one will continually be surprised at the many unusual shapes, which show, perhaps, the influence of Charatan. Anyone who has ever seen the shape knows as the Exeter, which can only be described as a sort of freehand bull moose, will know what I mean.Besides the Exeter, I have in my own collection a 1920?s One Dot shaped like a clay pipe, complete with tilted bowl and a heel underneath, and a 1970?s era Two Dot, which can only be described as a tilt bowl, diamond shank pear (Sasieni only used the descriptive town names on the Four and Eight Dot series). The Sasieni pipe is quite literally full of surprises. I have no doubt as I continue adding to my own collection, I will discover yet more unusual shapes.Sasieni was also a pioneer in the concept of ?Ladies? Pipes?. Three styles, the ?Argyle?, the ?Montrose?, and the ?Dorset? were designed specifically for ladies. Unlike many so-called ladies? pipes, these pipes did not mar the finish with colored lacquer, or have a bowl so small the lady in question could only get a five minute smoke. Instead, they had reasonably sized bowls, and long slender stems and shanks. The ?Argyle? and ?Montrose? were carved and smooth versions of a Billiard, respectively, and the ?Dorset? was a carved oval shaped bowl. Needless to say, these pipes could be enjoyed by anyone who simply wanted a smaller, slimmer pipe, as the finishes were exactly the same as the rest of the Sasieni line.Finally, there are the dots. This may sound a bit silly to the non-Sasieni collector, but Sasieni collectors know exactly what I mean. Sasieni collectors have a fascination with the striking logo, which is both distinctive yet tasteful. Some would say it has an almost mystical quality about it. Over the years, the dots have changed both in size and color (although many of the seeming color ?variations? are simply a result of aging.) Over the years the dots ranged in color from light blue to a vivid sky blue. Many collectors are as enthralled with the dot variations as with the pipe itself!The delights of this pipe are almost endless. They deliver a great smoke, visual enjoyment, and maybe even the possibility of monetary appreciation. They deserve to take their place next to the other great collectible pipes of England?s recent past, and perhaps, with more understanding on the part of collectors, they will.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------London SmokeThe largest and most innovative building in the world measured 563 metres long by 124 metres wide, and the height of the central transept was 33 metres. The total floor space, which covered the ground floor and galleries occupied around 9 hectares, while the display area covered over 13 kilometres. Built with astonishing speed in prefabricated glass and iron on the edge of Hyde Park, the Crystal Palace was the epitome of modern technology and design, a worthy construction to house the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, the very first World?s Fair, designed to showcase modern industrial technology, but above all to show Great Britain?s superiority at the height of its colonial and industrial power. From 1st May to 11th October, 1851, over six million people visited the monumental green house viewing and admiring manufacturing exhibits from all over the world.  Half of the building west of the transept was assigned to exhibitors from Great Britain and its colonies, and strolling among the vast upper galleries amongst all sorts of objects and machinery,  you could also come across a few pipes. In the South Central Gallery, class 23 - Works in precious metals, jewellery. etc, a Londoner, John Inderwickdisplayed a silver and gold mounted ornately carved Meerschaum featuring the death of Nelson. The patented tube was designed so as to facilitate smoking. In the North Transept Gallery overlooking the central transept in class 25 - China, porcelain, earthenware etc, William Southorn & Co. di Broseley displayed specially treated clay pipes that increased porosity. The glazing technique was also innovative and the pipes had green mouthpieces.  While still in the North Transept Gallery an even more interesting display was in class 29 - Miscellaneous manufactures and small wares, which featured two London manufacturers displaying pipes: John Yerbury with his patent diaphragm pipe, a recent patent by William Staite with a diaphragm system to block tobacco moisture made of extremely hard stoneware that was characteristic of the company that produced it,  Josiah Wedgwood and Sons.  Benjamin Barling & Sons displayed eight meerschaums mounted in silver and other materials. Two were simple designs, while the others were exquisitely carved featuring mostly animals. They received recognition for this display and won the Exhibition?s much sought-after official medallion.Crystal PalaceThere were quite a few pipes on show east of the transept that was assigned to other countries: exotic, dry or water pipes; Turkish, Greek and French clay pipes made by Dumeril and Fiolet , two renowned manufacturers. The Austrians and Germans  exhibited pipes with porcelain bowls and wooden stems, as well as pipes made of wood and other materials. At least thirteen Austrian exhibitors, and some from Germany displayed pipes and cigar holders in refined meerschaum. Two manufacturers from Ruhla, in Thuringia exhibited a vast array of pipes. London in 1851 had a population of 3,300,000, many of whom were immigrants from countries that were part of Britain?s Empire or else from the poorest European states, making London an immense metropolis for that time and an excellent market for any kind of product.  In the mid-nineteenth century pipes were quite popular in cities, thanks to a new invention, the match, which replaced the tinder box and was far easier to use. Nevertheless, most Londoners were used to clay pipes, and virtually ignored wooden or porcelain pipes. As for pipes made of meerschaum for refined and wealthy clients, most hardly knew anything about this substance. This is why the Exhibition catalogue provides a detailed explanation of the material?s features and uses under the name of John Inderwick. Thus, it was in fact the Great Exhibition that launched sea foam, although it had already been circulating in the form of pipes as early as 1815. In 1815 (or a little earlier) Benjamin Barling, the third generation of a family of silversmiths, established his firm. Amongst other things the firm imported meerschaum pipes and finished them in silver. John Inderwick, also present at the Exhibition, had begun his career in the late eighteenth century with silver and his shop was long renowned for his prestigious meerschaum pipes. Adolph Franchau, a German,settled in London in 1847 and began to import meerschaum pipes and tobacco. After the Exhibition other silversmiths and pipe makers were to follow, such as Henry Perkins from the 1850s onwards, Emil Loewe, a Frenchman who opened a pipe shop and workshop in 1856, may have also dealt in meerschaum and William Astley, who founded the famous tobacco shop, Astley?s in 1862, also sold meerschaum pipes.It is unclear whether for these early models the meerschaum pipes were manufactured on the premises, or else they were imported and then finished. The latter seems to be the most likely answer. However, in the 1880s the situation started to change. Chronicles of the time record meerschaum carvers who had been ?stolen? from Vienna to go and work in London. Moreover, Frederick and George Kapp from Nuremberg arrived in London in 1865 and the following year were already registered as meerschaum pipe manufacturers. In the early 1870s a young Russian who was already an expert in meerschaum, Frederick Charatan, established his business in Londonand around1875 Joseph B Brown from Kingston upon Hull founded JBB, which offered silver mounted meerschaum pipes. By 1876 there were thirty meerschaum pipe makers and importers working in London, and more were to follow. However,  this material had reached its peak of popularity and following another ten years it would gradually lose its appeal. It is likely that one of the main reasons for this was the fact that a new exciting and unexpected material for pipes was making a name for itself. There are various opinions on how and when the Erica Arborea root was introduced into the world of pipes, but it certainly was unknown in Great Britain at the time of the Exhibition. When Emil Loewe, a Frenchman, established his company in 1856, he may not have displayed his briar root pipes initially alongside his meerschaum models, but it is generally believed that it was he who first introduced the new material in London and others followed him from 1861 onwards: Louis Blumfeld, former employee of Adolph Frankau that had taken over management following Frankau?s death; Benjamin Wade, founder (1860) of the Ben Wade company in Leeds; William Astley, of the famous tobacco shop; Charles Oppenheimer, in 1860 founder of a large import-export company; Samuel Weingott, tobacco seller in Fleet Street in 1865 and the two Kapp brothers. Some just imported or dealt in briar root pipes, whereas others (Loewe, Blonfeld-Frankau, Wade, Weingott and Kapp) almost immediately began to manufacture their own briar pipes  in their workshops. However, there were others who were entering this exciting market. By 1865 the Barling companyhad also adopted briar rootand mounted exquisite silver fitments on briar pipes as well as meerschaums. The same went for JBB and Charatan. In  1874 Frederick Kapp moved to Dublin to later establish Kapp and Peterson while his brother remained in London and ran the business for another decade. In 1876 Louis Blumfeld, owner of the Frankau company, realising how briar pipes were becoming increasingly popular decided to create the BBB brand, Blumfeld?s Best Briars, which subsequently would change to British Best Briars.In 1879 Henry Comoy, a Frenchman from Saint-Claude (the ?capital? of the emerging briar industry) arrived in London.  His family had been manufacturing pipes since 1825, so they were already familiar with this new material and Henry immediately started creating briar pipes when he opened his first workshop. In 1883 the tobacco seller Weingott established a a company for briar pipe manufacturing, called S. Weingott & Son, and in 1888 William Henry Carrington founded his firm in Manchester producing meerschaums and briar pipes bearing the WHCbrand. In 1890 Thomas Martin founded his first workshop in the village of Blakesley producing the Blakemar brand, following eight years of apprenticeship in various companies, including Loewe. In 1898 Frankau opened a factory in Homerton that would last till the 1980s.  One year later in London Louis Orlik established his company and John Louis Duncan established Duncan Briars. At the turn of the century English pipe makers were increasingly competitive and numerous, perhaps too numerous considering that the market was in decline due to the introduction of cigarettes and cigars. However, in difficult situations the best and strongest competitors generally emerge. In 1900 the Oppenheimer company bought two pipe manufacturers in  Saint-Claude in France and in 1902 it purchased the GBD company, which had been founded in Paris in 1850. Subsequently, in 1906 a large factory was established in Saint-Claude housing the two manufactures previously acquired. In the same year Barling began to produce some briar pipes as part of their output and in 1909 the company became independent producers of their collections. In 1907 Alfred Dunhill opened his shop on Duke Street and in 1910 began to produce pipes independently drawing on the experience and expertise acquired  from Joel Sasieni, one of the best, highly skilled craftsmen who had been ?stolen? from Charatan. In 1908 Edmund Hardcastle established his company and then WWI broke out. It seemed that after the war in peacetime pipes were still in demand. Thus, in 1919 the Davies & Huybrecht  company, better known as London Castle, was established, producing highly refined pipes sold in only one shop in London. In the same year, Joel Sasieni, after having worked for Charatan and Dunhill, chose to become independent and founded his own personal company.However, the 1920s were difficult times for pipes and many manufacturers were aware of this. Indeed, already in 1917 the Perkins company had been acquired by the Adler family associated with Oppenheimer, whose GBD brandwas produced both in London and Paris. It was Oppenheimer that incorporated both Frankau, under the BBB brand and Loewe in 1920, and also began to participate in Comoy?s equity. Indeed, the rise of Oppenheimer was rather turbulent, and in order to avoid confusion created a holding company, Cadogan Investments Ltd, which controlled all the other pipe companies. The company was named after Cadogan Square in London where the offices were based. In 1929 Comoy approached Cadogan but was not yet acquired and meanwhile JBB and Weingott were sold by the family and subsequently changed hands several times, damaging the brand in the process. On the other hand, the companies that remained under Cadogan continued to be successful, as the holding allowed the companies complete freedom of action. Dunhill was also active, in1922 founding the Parker company, and in 1935 began to acquire Hardcastle which would be completed in 1946. Cigarettes became popular following WWII, making life for pipe companies difficult, even if pipe manufacturing continued as before. Thus, in 1960 the Barling family gave up and sold the company off to the Imperial Tobacco Company. This was the beginning of a difficult period for the brand, which would only flourish again in 1975 thanks to the new owner. Likewise, in 1962 the Charatan family also sold their company to a German-American company, Herman Lane, which also acquired Ben Wade in the same year. Following another change of hands  Charatan was acquired by Dunhill in 1976, which sold the brand and then re-acquired it in  2002. Although Sasieni had been bearing up well under pressure, the family sold it in 1979, and its tradition of fine quality pipes continued until it was sold in 1986. In 1980 Cadogan finally acquired Comoy, Orlik and Weingott. Company policy had to change with the times and no longer were the subsidiary companies independent. Now compamies were merged and some brands had to be sacrificed in the process, such as Weingott,  and Carrington/ WHC of Manchester that closed down in 1988. These were no longer times for general pipe smokers and pipes became part of a niche market for discerning and demanding clients. Under the umbrella of great names and holdings glorious brands still continued their business. Others, antique but orphans, were saved and went back into business, while yet other pipe makers worked independently. In 1976, when the glorious factory was sold to Dunhill, a few master craftsmen from Charatan decided to leave to establish their own business, such as Barry Jones and Kenneth Barnes, who founded a company at Tilshead called the James Upshall company, which was then sold in 1996. In the early 1980s Ashton pipes were introduced, the owner being William Ashton Taylor who had worked for a long time for Dunhill. In 1995 Duncan Briars was bought by Ben Wilson, John Duncan?s brother-in-law; in 1998 Wilson himself bought the Ben Wade brand from Dunhill and re-launched it. In 1999 London Castle closed, as well as the prestigious Inderwick and Astley's. The twenty-first century will be full of surprises in the field of British pipes, hopefully positive ones. In the meantime collectors vie for antique and vintage models, such as Dunhill and Charatan, as well as for Barling, Sasieni, Comoy, BBB, Ben Wade, Loewe, and Orlik. There are also those who seek to piece together the almost forgotten past of no less interesting minor brands, which have also played a role in pipe history.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------BarlingThe Barlings were silversmiths in England during the latter part of the 1700's. Sensing an opportunity, Benjamin Barling started outfitting meerschaum bowls with exquisite silver mountings, founding B. Barling and Sons in 1812.1850 Kalmasch Meerschaum w/Barling Silverwork. Johnny Long Collection 1850 Meerschaum, Top maker and hallmark detail. The BB is for Benjamin Barling. 1850 Meerschaum, Hallmark (1850)1850 Meerschaum, SilverworkThe company received recognition of their work at the Great Exhibition of 1851 for their display of a set of ?Silver-mounted meerschaum smoking pipes.? - Official Catalogue of the Great Exhibition of 1851 - page 147. This honor meant so much to the company that they proudly displayed the medallion they received on the cover of their first catalog of pipes decades later (as seen to the left).Over the ensuing years the company gained and maintained an enviable reputation for the excellent smoking characteristics of their pipes, as well as for their unique interpretation of classic shapes, and the development of some "new" classics. Though not the first English company to carve pipes from Briar, (that distinction being claimed by Loewe?s who first introduced briar pipes to English smokers in 1856 - ?Loewe of the Haymarket - 1926) the Barling Company supplied finely wrought silver fitments to briar bowls turned by French carvers. Finishing bowls turned in St. Claude and other manufacturing centers was a common practice among British makers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.In his classic article, Mysterious Barlings, written for the Spring 2000 issue of Pipes and Tobacco Magazine, Tad Gage writes that the Barling Company did not exclusively turn their own bowls until around 1909. Jon Guss, based on a statement made by Montague Barling in the British trade publication, Tobacco, gives the year that Barling began turning their own bowls as 1906 (Guss), following a crippling strike by French carvers.Barling would become one of the few British companies to carve all of their bowls until the family sold their business to their largest client, Finlay, on October 3rd 1960 as reported in the British tobacco industry journal Tobacco (Guss). But though the family sold their company, they were retained to operate it through mid 1962. This probably accounts for the differences in the dates for the transition that are found on various pipe history sites.Montague Barling was still the president of the company and Williamson-Barling was still the general manager, a position in which, according to McNab, he would continue to 1967. Guss reports that Williamson-Barling actually departed June 1st 1962 to be replaced by Ronald Gibbons (Guss). This disparity in dates may also be partially responsible for the disparity in dates given for the end of the Transition Era and the beginning of the Post-Transition Era.It has recently come to light that letters exist, which were written by Montague Barling from the period of April thru June of 1962, during which time the Barling Company presented pipes to celebrity pipe smokers to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the company. We have included a sample of that correspondence in the form of an exchange of letters between Mr. Barling and Bing Crosby. The company received recognition of their work at the Great Exhibition of 1851 for their display of a set of ?Silver-mounted meerschaum smoking pipes.? - Official Catalogue of the Great Exhibition of 1851 - page 147. This honor meant so much to the company that they proudly displayed the medallion they received on the cover of their first catalog of pipes decades later (as seen to the left).Over the ensuing years the company gained and maintained an enviable reputation for the excellent smoking characteristics of their pipes, as well as for their unique interpretation of classic shapes, and the development of some "new" classics. Though not the first English company to carve pipes from Briar, (that distinction being claimed by Loewe?s who first introduced briar pipes to English smokers in 1856 - ?Loewe of the Haymarket - 1926) the Barling Company supplied finely wrought silver fitments to briar bowls turned by French carvers. Finishing bowls turned in St. Claude and other manufacturing centers was a common practice among British makers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.In his classic article, Mysterious Barlings, written for the Spring 2000 issue of Pipes and Tobacco Magazine, Tad Gage writes that the Barling Company did not exclusively turn their own bowls until around 1909. Jon Guss, based on a statement made by Montague Barling in the British trade publication, Tobacco, gives the year that Barling began turning their own bowls as 1906 (Guss), following a crippling strike by French carvers.Barling would become one of the few British companies to carve all of their bowls until the family sold their business to their largest client, Finlay, on October 3rd 1960 as reported in the British tobacco industry journal Tobacco (Guss). But though the family sold their company, they were retained to operate it through mid 1962. This probably accounts for the differences in the dates for the transition that are found on various pipe history sites.Montague Barling was still the president of the company and Williamson-Barling was still the general manager, a position in which, according to McNab, he would continue to 1967. Guss reports that Williamson-Barling actually departed June 1st 1962 to be replaced by Ronald Gibbons (Guss). This disparity in dates may also be partially responsible for the disparity in dates given for the end of the Transition Era and the beginning of the Post-Transition Era.The ErasAccording to recent scholarship, Barling pipes have gone through three distinct eras that dramatically effect collectability of the pipes. These are referred to as the Pre-Transition, Transition, and Post Transition eras.Pre-Transition Barling pipes are generally defined as those pipes made while the Barling family owned and operated the family business.The Transition Barlings are generally defined as those made by the company that bought the business from the Barling family.The Post-Transition Barlings are generally defined as those pipes made by Imperial Tobacco after it took over the ownership and running of the business. It all seems neat and simple. But none if it is actually neat and simple as I?m about to show.Different sources suggest different dates for each of these eras. The Pre-Transition era ends in either 1960, or 1962. The Transition era either starts in 1960, or 1962, and ends in 1964, 1968, or 1970. The Post-Transition era starts on one of those dates and continues on as the Barling factories are closed, the pipes are jobbed out to first English and later Danish makers, then made by an entirely new entity with little connection to earlier eras. Eventually, Barling pipes appeared that were clearly made by Peterson, complete with P-lips.And just to muddy the waters, there is also a group of collectors who suggest that there are two Transition periods, based on quality rather than ownership of the company. These collectors contend that there was a noticeable inconsistency in quality beginning around 1954. Transition 1 runs from 1954 to 1962 and Transition 2 runs from 1962 to 1968.The Transition 1 and Transition 2 version of the Eras is largely ignored today. Very few can tell the difference between a pipe made before 1954 and one made after.That said, Guss points to another reason for the perceived change in the qualities of the Barling product. 1954 was the beginning of the Algerian War for Independence and as a consequence, Barling?s source for briar began to dry up. As Guss notes, ?Barling management acknowledged this explicitly, and admitted to responding by sourcing its briar from ?France, Italy, Sardinia, Spain, and Greece? as a result of the Algerian crisis.? (Guss) Based on Jon Guss? mining of the historical record left by the British and American tobacco trade through contemporary trade publications, an accurate set of dates of each of the eras can be offered. These dates are also based on the definitions for the 3 Eras that were given above.The Eras based on the public recordPre-Transition: 1812 (or 1815) thru October 3rd, 1960. On that date, the Barling family sold their business to Finlay, their largest client.Transition: Late 1960 thru February 1963.Finlay was 40% owned by Imperial Tobacco. Imperial Tobacco had an option to purchase the remaining shares of Finlay, which it did in February of 1963. When Finlay was absorbed, Barling came under direct control of Imperial Tobacco.Post-Transition Era: Early 1963 and later.Imperial ran the business, some say into the ground. They closed the Barling factories in 1970 and outsourced the production of pipes, first to several English makers, and then later to Nording, etc. In 1980 Bucktrout purchases the rights to the Barling name and Barlings have shown up as relatively cheap pipes made by Peterson.Though we now have Eras whose duration is linked to the *public record, it?s still not simple and here?s why.After the Barling family sold their business to Finlay, they continued to operate it for the new owners. For a period of roughly 20 months pipes continued to be produced with no changes to the nomenclature. There?s no way to tell the difference between pipes made before Finlay bought the company and after Finlay bought the company. Therefore, there?s no way to tell the difference between late Pre--Transition and early Transition era pipes based on the traditional definitions.Okay, so the first 20 months of the so-called Transition era pipes is pretty much a loss. Then in mid 1962, Barling releases its 150th Anniversary Catalog and announces a change to the nomenclature. They change the model numbering to include a size or group number as the first number. The old size stamps are dropped.About this same time, the Barling family gets sacked, and Finlay management takes over.In November of 1962 a new Retailers Catalog is released, showing a complete revamping of the product line with revised nomenclature.A couple of months later, Finlay is absorbed into Imperial Tobacco, and along with it comes B. Barling and Sons.The so-called ?Transition? era pipes can?t really be clearly defined. The only exception are the pipes made for a short period in 1962, a ?Barling?s Make? pipe whose four digit model number begins with a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Also, some of these 1962 Barlings have both types of model numbers stamped on them. The earlier pipes look like Pre-Transition, the later pipes look like Post-Transition. The Transition as a useful term for defining pipes, just doesn?t work.So I?m dropping those inaccurate definitions and using something simpler and more accurate: Family Era and Corporate Era.It ain?t perfect, but it?s more accurate than what we?ve been using.Those more comfortable with the traditional definitions can still use the following information. Just follow the timeline.Eras RedefinedFamily Era 1912 - 1962: Pipes made by the Barling family while it either owned or managed B. Barling & Sons.Corporate Era 1962 - the Present: Pipes made after the family left off managing the company, beginning with the revised product grades and revised nomenclature that were introduced in the 1962 Dealers? Catalog.The Family Era pipes are highly sought after by collectors and have excellent smoking and aesthetic qualities. These pipes are famous for the "old wood" from which they were made. I?m including the 1962 ?Barling?s Make? pipes in this category because, initially, they were made while the Family still ran the business. Montague Barling was still President, and Williamson-Barling was still General Manager.These 1962 pipes were made by the same craftsman from the same materials, as the earlier product. Some of them are stamped with both the old and new model numbers.The Corporate Era pipes all bear a script ?Barling? logo with no apostrophe and no ?s?. Since these pipes share the same markings as others manufactured as late as 1970 and beyond, it is difficult to distinguish which are made from Family Era materials and which are not. One clue is the absence of a TVF stamp. Initially, the TVF stamp was dropped, but it was back in use as early as 1965, if not earlier.The nomenclature will go through a variety of changes over the next couple of decades, including a return of the ?Barling?s Make? in block letters. But unlike the family era ?Barling?s Make? which had ?Barling?s? arched over the word ?Make?, these latter day pipes have ?Barling?s Make? all on one line.Family Era - 1812 - late 1962 DetailsThe Barling family controlled production up till this point. Quality was excellent, however some sources indicate a marked inconsistency in quality starting as early as 1954. As stated earlier, Jonathan Guss suggests that the Algerian War for Independence played a role in the change in quality due to the lack of Algerian briar, which the company supplemented with briar sourced from other countries. (Guss)Prior to 1954 Barling pipes were made from old growth ?extra extra? grade Algerian briar, of a quality no longer available. Barling conducted their own harvesting operations, looking for roots that ranged from 80 - 150 years of age. Jonathan Guss indicates that Barling had a commercial investment in Algeria as far back as 1928, though the nature and extent of this investment is not currently known.We do know that Barling conducted its own harvesting operations, as well as cutting and seasoning of their selected briar. These images from the 1920?s brochure, Romance Of The Barling Pipe, shows images of their Algerian ventures. Also, the copy states that Barling looked for briarroot that was about 50 years old.  While many find the grain to be beautiful, this was not the aim of the Barling Company, and many of their pipes have rather unremarkable grain. The Barling Company?s intent was simple, to create the finest smoking instruments in the history of the world. Many connoisseurs believe that they achieved that goal admirably.In addition to the smoking qualities of their air-cured wood, the Barling Company outfitted their bowls with hand made stems that many consider to be the most comfortable ever created. Their engineering is beyond reproach. Their silver work remains unsurpassed.As an interesting side note, the soft Algerian Briar was not initially prized, as it was prone to burnout. But Barlng took the time to properly age and season this carefully selected wood for between 3 and 5 years, before finishing. They also made pipes with thicker walls, which helped defend against burnout. The porous mature of this briar resulted in excellent heat dispersion and provided a cool smoke.Family Era Nomenclature:Before discussing the nomenclature of the Family Era pipes it is important to note that there are no absolutes. Barling pipes from this period show a remarkable degree of variation when it comes to nomenclature. The following information can be applied in a general fashion.According to Tad Gage, Pre-1946 stampings are minimal. Pre WW2 pipes rarely have size, shape or grading. But pipes have surfaced, hallmarked as early as 1925 with size marks, and as early as 1926 with model numbers. There may be earlier examples, and when we see them we will revise the dates.Examples with silver hallmarks illustrate that a distinct change in nomenclature occurred around 1938-40, although clearly the war and London bombings impacted production of silver-mounted and of all English pipes. A George Yale catalog from 1941 features the familiar stampings such as ?YE OLDE WOOD?, ?TVF?, and style names like ?Fossil?, and these were not generally found on pre-1940 pipes, although ?YE OLDE WOOD? did inconsistently appear on some earlier examples. (Gage)Sandblasts:Until recently it was believed that Barling didn?t produce sandblasts until the late 1930?s and didn?t list them formally as part of the product line prior to 1943. It?s possible that Barling may have been producing sandblasts much earlier, possibly as early as 1917, the same year Dunhill is credited with inventing the sandblast. More on that possibility in a moment.The Barling Elite:In 2014, a Barling pipe stamped Elite had appeared on eBay. The pipe looked like a sandblasted Dunhill prince. But rather than being sandblasted, the Elite was exquisitely carved to replicate the appearance of a sandblast. The quality of workmanship is astonishing.Barling Elite, courtesy Beau Boston - Valtrane on eBay    We assumed that this was Barling?s response to the Dunhill shell finish.The Niblick:But, in a 1917 edition of Tobacco World there was an entry in the product line for a pipe called a Niblick.I had never seen a Barling Niblick and neither Tad, nor Jon had ever seen one. The Niblick appeared sporadically in the Barling line. It appeared in a couple of 1920?s price lists, and again in 1938 through 1941. As I was writing this update, a Niblick turned up in a job lot of pipes sold on eBay. The Niblick turns out to be a sandblast! This is a model 71A, one of Barlings most pleasing billiard shapes and a model that remained in the line from well before WW1 into the Corporate Era.Barling Niblick, from the Jesse Silver Collection  It seems a pretty good bet that the 1917 Niblick is a sandblast. But until we actually see a Niblick identifiable to the period, the issue remains speculative. The Niblick disappears from the Barling line of pipes around 1941. In 1942 we see listed ?sandblast? in the price list. It?s not given the name ?fossil? in the listing. The ?Fossil? appellation seems to be a post WW2 marketing idea. In between we have sandblasts with no special nomenclature.Note the lack of stampings on this Early custom order Barling, as well as the beautiful deep blast, courtesy Jesse Silver Collection  The sandblast illustrated above lacks a ?Fossil? stamp. It has only the small Barling?s Make and ?MADE IN ENGLAND? stamps. Based on research by Jonathan Guss, there is no mention of sandblasts in the published price lists prior to 1942.Logo Nomenclature:Barling began its pipe works by mounting meerschaum bowls, likely carved in Austria using Turkish meer. These bowls were fitted with exquisite sterling fitments of the highest quality. It was a set of such meerschaums that won Barling an award at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Their sterling makers? mark at that time was a ?BB? for Benjamin Barling.Barling also provided sterling work for BBB until BBB established their own silver working capabilities in Birmingham England, and started crafting its own silver fitments circa 1910. (Gage) By the time that Barling was making sterling fitments for BBB the Barling makers? mark had been changed to ?EB? over ?WB? for Edward and William Barling. Many Barling briar pipes made prior to 1906 lack any company markings except for the name of the shop that sold them. As was common practice at the time, the majority of bowls Barling used prior to 1906 were imported from St. Claude or Jura to be finished in the Barling factories. If there was anything to identify Barling as the maker it was their maker?s mark, EB over WB, stamped into a sterling fitment. During the late 1800?s the BARLING?S MAKE stamp appears on some pipes, evidence that Barling was manufacturing some of their product completely in-house. The ?BARLING?S MAKE? has the word ?BARLING?S? arched over the word ?MAKE? in capital block letters. Barling used this block letter logo until late 1962.In addition to the block letter logo, Barling used a script logo for special pipes as well as for advertising, and packaging art.Both the Guinea Grain grade of pipes and the Cyg-Smoker line of filtered pipes use a script Barling?s logo. Note that it includes an apostrophe and an ?s?.The Pipelet line of filtered pipes used a script Barling logo without an apostrophe or ?s?.During the 1930?s and early 1940?s the BARLING?S MAKE logo appeared in a small version with a simpler letter style. Following the War, the small ?BARLING?S MAKE? logo was discontinued and a larger logo was used. The larger logo would continue to be in use until 1962, when the 1930?s style logo was reintroduced along with the new numbering system.Over the years there were a number of changes and adjustments to the nomenclature, though the company logo stamps remained a constant.An interesting briar calabash shape from 1908 features the dealer?s name on the LH side with the ?BARLING?S MAKE? stamp on the verso in a secondary placement. Instead of the famous ?MADE IN ENGLAND.? stamp, the word ?ENGLAND? is placed below the ?BARLING?S MAKE? stamp. There is no crossed Barlings logo on the stem.1908 Calabash Shaped Briar Pipe, Jesse Silver Collection  Ye Olde Wood Stamp:Sometime around 1913, the ?Ye Olde Wood? stamp made its appearance on selected pipes. An example exists stamped on a 1913 date hallmarked pipe.1913 Ye Olde Wood, Jesse Silver Collection1913 Ye Olde Wood, Jesse Silver CollectionThis logo will continue to be used in the decades to come. Initially it was used to designate a higher grade than the average, much as the ?Special? grade would after the Second World War. Price lists show the ?Ye Olde Wood? pipes as a separate grade from the basic BARLING?S MAKE pipe. Eventually, ?Ye Olde Wood? came to represent the company to the world. The use of "YE OLD WOOD" as a stamp prior to 1940 was haphazard, at best, although the company used the slogan in advertising materials from the early teens onward. (Gage)Crossed Barling Stem Logo:It is not known when the crossed Barling stem logo first appeared, but an example exists on a pipe with a 1923 date hallmark. And several of the mid 1920?s pipes added in this update also feature the crossed Barling stem logo.Model Numbers:Also according to Tad Gage, the only four-digit number that denotes a Pre-Transition piece begins with "1," which was used for pipes sold in England. Any other four-digit Barling pipe is a Transitional piece-- (Tad Gage in P & T magazine).To Be Continued---------------------------------------------------------------------------How To Pack & Light A PipeLearning how to smoke a tobacco pipe isn't as complicated as it seems. The number one complaint of new pipe smokers seems to be that they do not know how to correctly 'pack' their pipe, resulting in either dottle left over at the end of the smoke, or a hot smoke and the dreaded tongue bite, or a pipe that is hard to draw on. Here is compiled a step by step outline to the correct way to pack a pipe for maximum enjoyment. Packing and lighting a pipe, much like smoking a pipe, is an artform, and this technique may take some time to master, but once you have it down pat, one of the major stumbling blocks to pipe smoking bliss will have been removed.Materials Needed:PipeTobaccoSomething to tamp the tobacco withSomething to ignite the tobacco withPipe cleanersPacking Procedure:There are many methods of packing a pipe with tobacco. The method listed below works well for many folks and many different kinds of tobacco. It is, by no means, the only method of packing a pipe and experimentation is the key to finding a process that works well for you.(1) First, make sure your pipe is free from obstructions and left over ash from previous smokes. Run a pipe cleaner through the stem, dump out any dottle, and gently blow through the stem to expel any leftover ash. It is probably best to do this over a trashcan, large ashtray, or other such receptacle, pointing the bowl of the pipe upside down to avoid spewing dottle and ash into your own face.(2) Next, prepare the tobacco for smoking. Remove a small amount of tobacco from your tin/pouch/etc and lay it out on a flat surface. Gently pick apart any clumps in the tobacco, and make note of the moisture content of the tobacco. If it is too moist, you may want to let it sit out for a few minutes to dry out a bit. Go make yourself a cup of tea, pull an espresso, or open some mail. When you come back, it should have dried just a bit and be a little easier to deal with.(3) Lightly fill the your pipe with tobacco. Holding your pipe, trickle strands of tobacco into the bowl of the pipe until it is filled to the top. resist the urge to push the tobacco down with your thumb half-way through this operation. Do not pinch the loose tobacco while doing this, as you will create more of the clumps you just took time to remedy.(4) Now, take your tamper/pipe-nail/etc and gently compress the tobacco. For bowls with straight sides, you should tamp gently until the tobacco half fills the bowl. For pipes with tapered bowls, aim for more like two thirds full. The tobacco in the bowl should have a very springy, almost soft consistency.(5) Put the pipe to your lips and take a test draw. If there is any resistance, dump out the tobacco and start over.(6) Once again, lightly fill the bowl of your pipe. Trickle loose strands of tobacco into the bowl of your pipe until it is once again full, perhaps even a tad over-full.(7) Again, tamp the tobacco down gently with your tamp. For straight sided bowls, the pipe should now be three quarters full. For tapered bowls, the pipe should now be five eighths or so full. You will probably find that to achieve this level of tobacco, you have to tamp with slightly more force than the first time. The tobacco in the bowl should feel springy.(8) Put the pipe to your lips and take a test draw. There may be tiny amount of resistance this time, but if you have any trouble drawing on the pipe, dump out the tobacco and start over.(9) Trickle a bit more tobacco into the pipe. Fill the pipe until a small mound of tobacco protrudes above the rim of the bowl, looking as if it needs a haircut. Return any left-over tobacco to its container for future use.(10) Using your tamp again, pack this tobacco down until it is even with the top of the bowl. This will take a bit more pressure than the first two tamping operations, but take care not to overdo it. The tobacco should still feel springy, only slightly less so than on the second tamp.(11) Put the pipe to your lips and take another test draw. The resistance should be minimal, like sucking on a straw. If there is any more than this, dump out the tobacco and start over.Now, if all of the above steps have been successfully completed, your pipe is properly packed and ready to be lit and smoked.Lighting Procedure:Lighting a pipe seems to be a very straightforward operation. You apply open flame, whether from a match, pipe lighter or other such contrivance and puff on the pipe until it is lit. Well, to get maximum enjoyment out of your pipe, and to minimize the need for mid-smoke relights, it is important to pay attention to your technique here, as with any other aspect of smoking. Here are a couple of easy steps to ensure a nicely lit pipe.(1) First comes the 'charring' light (also called the 'false' light). The purpose of which is to expel any extra moisture from the tobacco and prepare a nice even bed for the 'true' light. To achieve this, light your match or lighter and apply it to the tobacco, moving it in a circular motion around the entire surface of the tobacco. While doing this, take a series of shallow puffs on the pipe. It may be that the tobacco swells up in a spot or two and seems to unravel. That is the purpose of the charring light, to balance out the tobacco moisture and density.(2) Allow this light to go out and tamp the tobacco back down even with the top of the bowl. You may find it useful to twist or spin your tamp in a circular motion while doing this. This is the point where many pipe smokers ruin a good packing job by tamping too hard. You should use a very light touch, wanting only to return the tobacco to the level it was before the charring light.(3) Relight your match of lighter and apply it to the tobacco, moving it in a circular motion around the entire surface of the tobacco. While doing this, take a series of shallow puffs on the pipe. This time the tobacco should not unravel and puff up as it did before. Extinguish your source of fire, sit back, relax and enjoy your pipe.Hopefully, by following these instructions, you have successfully lit your pipe and are enjoying it. Here are a couple more tips to consider:It takes time and practice to master this technique, but you should see steady improvement in your form and in the ease with which you can pack your pipe as you progress. It is not uncommon for it to take six months for this technique to become second nature.Don't worry too much about relights. Relighting your pipe is a fact of life, and only rarely, if at all, will you have a smoke where you do not have to relight at least once. You will probably find that as your smoking progresses, you will relight less and less frequently.                                                                                                                                           END--------------------------------------------------------------------------Briar (Erica arborea)by Peter MacSweenBriar is a small tree, rarely growing more than thirty feet tall in its natural range, the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea. It is not harvested for lumber but for the burls, which grow between the roots and stem of this shrub. Burls have long been prized for their distinctive grain and appearance. Briar burls have a unique purpose: they are the preferred material for the bowls of tobacco pipes. The discovery of this singular purpose for briar was accidental. A Frenchman traveling in the south of France to Corsica broke his pipe on route. He asked a local carver to fashion a new pipe out of whatever local wood was available. The craftsman chose Briar burl and the long history of Briar pipe making began.Briar burl block (plateaux) Briar burl has several distinct properties that make it an ideal choice for pipe making. First, it is very hard and dense which makes it heat resistant. It can handle temperatures over 700 degrees Celsius before it will start to burn. This heat resistance is aided by extractives in the burl itself ? which means that only tobacco burns in the bowl of the pipe and the briar does not add any flavouring. In addition, Briar helps cool the smoke making it easier to inhale and ?taste? the tobacco. Being derived from the roots of the shrub, which are adapted to absorb water, the Briar burl takes up any hot moisture produced by tobacco combustion and in the process cools the smoke before it's inhaled. Finally, briar burls with their unique grain and appearance make a pipe that is very beautiful to look at.  Burls are benign tumours or wart-like growths found in many different tree species typically on the stem or on the roots. The grain of the burl is an interlocked swirl. All burls have ?eyes? with the most prized burls having the highest density of eyes. The eyes are actually buds, the same buds one finds on the small branches and twigs that produce new growth.  No one knows why these eyes form in burls ? distant from their normal location and purpose.  Many theories have been proposed such as trauma, insects, disease, etc., but we just don?t know what causes the burls to occur. After the Briar burls are harvested, they are cleaned and cut into pieces suitable for pipe making. There are various types of cuttings available. Ebauchon blocks are usually rectangular in shape and cut from the center of the burl. These cuts maximize yield and are more widely available. Plateau blocks are wedge shaped and often include some of the bark of the burl. These pieces maximize appearance and figure and are more expensive. Blocks are often steamed which reduces drying stresses and helps even out colouration. Then the blocks are graded according to appearance and allowed to dry. Even if you don?t want to make a pipe, Briar burls are affordable and offer the woodworker an introduction to working with burls. Briar can be used for small decorative objects and items such as knife handles. The burls should be cleaned thoroughly since they are dirty and can contain sand. Some woodworkers progressively remove wood in stages, letting the wood rest in between each step. This may help the wood dry and prevent cracking. It?s important to remember that burls are never kiln dried.  The interlocked grain would self-destruct. Success in working burls requires patience. All tooling should be sharp since the wood is very hard and the interlocked grain can tear and chip. Waste will be high. Usually only one quarter of the burl will produce useable material. There are often bark inclusions and other defects to work around. Experience helps guide the hand when working the burl as the most dramatic appearance comes from viewing the eyes head on and not from the side. Finishing should complement the beauty of the wood not hide it.  Briar burls are not endangered and are relatively easy to purchase. Dealers who supply pipe makers will stock the plateau and ebauchon blocks. Specialty wood dealers often stock whole burls, which are sold by the pound. Briar is an excellent choice for woodworkers willing to explore the gems of the forest and will reward the patient and persistent crafts person.  Average Dried Weight30 lbs/ft³A measure of its weight at 12% moisture and an ambient temperature of 70°F.Specific Gravity.91A measure of the ratio of its density compared to water (at 12% MC)ShrinkageRadial: 6.1Tangential: 8.5Volumetric: 15.6Radial (the amount of crosswise shrinkage);Tangential (the amount of lengthwise shrinkage);Volumetric (the total amount of shrinkage.)T/R Ratio1.4A measure of the uniformity of tangential to radial shrinkage.Janka Hardness2,090 lbfA measure of resistance to denting and abrasion.Crushing Strength8,540 lbf/in²A measure of compression strength parallel to the grain.ColourLight tan and beige, to light brown and reddish brown. GrainTight grained, typically interlocked swirl or flame pattern (wood fibers grow radiating from a central point to the outer bark).TextureRough, gritty.WorkabilityAbrasive on cutting tools. Better suited for rasps, grinding tools, and sanders.UsesTobacco pipes, knife handles, and other small specialty wood items.Price$6.00 - $10.00 per pound                                                                                                      END--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Pipe Academy- Pipe FinishesEach of us has a pipe finish that attracts us. Some love grain to ?pop?, so they may like a smooth, polished surface with a contrast staining that makes the grain truly stand out. Lots of people really like the rough and rocky look of a coral rustication. For myself, there?s nothing like a deep, craggy sandblast. Let?s look at the various types of briar pipe finishes.This Nording pipe is a great example of a contrasting grain finish.No matter what the finish is, it?s going to take time. A smooth finish may look like it doesn?t require a lot of work, but it does. Although I?ve never made a pipe (which is a good thing), I know about polishing, and it?s not just a matter of putting a shiny coating on the wood. A regular stain will be a matter of a single color applied to the wood, whereas a contrast staining requires applying a dark stain, using an abrasive to remove the stain that?s on the hard part of the grain and putting on a lighter, contrasting color. This will make the grain really stand out. Danish makers seem to especially like this technique, and it?s been used extensively by Bjarne, Neerup and Nording, among others.Peterson Aran. Click to see more.To polish, once the shape is achieved, the wood is sanded with finer and finer grades of sandpaper (how fine will depend upon the maker). The shine comes from the application of a hard wax and/or a finish. How does wax shine a pipe? The same way it shines your car- by ?sanding? the surface and leaving a coating behind. You see, wax is a micro-abrasive and also fills in minute scratches to make the surface amazingly smooth. Using a lacquer just fills in the fine abrasions and leaves a very smooth and shiny outer coating, but many smokers avoid lacquered pipes as they believe that the finish makes a pipe smoke hot.Sandblasting is achieved by exactly what you?d think- blasting the wood with air-propelled bits of fine abrasives. Because briar has both hard and soft wood in each piece, the grain is the delineation of the hard and soft material. When the wood has sand, metal or glass bits fired at it at fairly high pressure, the abrasive gradually rips away the soft wood, leaving the hard ridges behind. This is where the intriguing layered look comes from. Also, since the hard wood transmits heat better than the soft, and the surface area of the pipe is increased, sandblasted pipes tend to smoke (marginally) cooler than smooth pipes. Most companies have some sandblasted pipes in their lineup, but I lean toward the blasts by individual carvers like Luigi Viprati and Kevin Arthur, for example.Rusticated pipes are as varied as they are intriguing. There are so many different ways to rusticate a pipe (such as line carving and the aforementioned coral finish) that it?s almost impossible to describe them all. But in each case, there?s a fair amount of work involved. Each type of finish requires a unique tool that is used to gouge or scratch the wood, and is oftentimes made and/or designed by the pipemaker. Each carver or company has a one-of-a-kind rustication, and some of these finishes are justifiably well-known in the pipe community. The Italian companies certainly have a flair for those coral finishes. Ardor, Castello, Rinaldo, Gepetto and Savinelli, among others, have their own version of this style, and with a combination of colored stains are true works of art.A GBD pipe with a rusticated fiishWhich finish is best? It?s the one that pleases you most for the particular pipe you?re looking at. After all, if there were such a thing as a ?best finish?, that?s the only style people would buy. As for myself, my collection contains a number of examples of each of these types, as my preferences seem to change with my mood.If variety is the spice of life, then selecting a collection of pipes based on the outer finish is my kind of spice. Look around, you?ll be amazed at what?s out there.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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