1911 GBD Speciale

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mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
587
46
Canada
Hello all,
I'd appreciate any input you can give on a pipe I picked up this summer. It's a 1911 GBD Speciale. With regards to the hallmarks, the Assay Office mark for foreign silver is a U for London, followed by 925 and the London date letter q for 1911. Underneath is AO for Adolphe Oppenheimer. I know the pictures of the hallmark leave a lot to be desired and they're quite worn but I have gone over the hallmarks from different angles and lighting and am 99% sure of the marks. The real question is the carburetor. Has anyone run across a carburetor on a GBD before? Here are some pics.









Thanks
Mau

 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
587
46
Canada
Sable, thanks, I believe the stem is vulcanite. I haven't done anything to clean up the pipe. You can see from the picture below there is a piece missing from the tenon.


 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
587
46
Canada
Cosmic, thanks. Yes, the carb is open up all the way to the bowel. I can blow through it. IMHO the pipe hasn't been smoked that much. Perhaps the owner(s) weren't a fan of the carburetor.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,121
469
I can't wait to see it cleaned up. I cannot imagine what a carb would add to the smoking experience. It seems like it would defeat itself on each draw made without the carb covered.

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,810
5
I have a Kaywoodie carb. It was a novelty. It is not a good smoke. If you don't run a paperclip or wire through the carb it clogs and then the pipe works better, but you get quite the dottle around the metal in the bowl from the carb.

 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
587
46
Canada
Cosmic, I pulled this from Briarfiles.blogspot.com
The idea is that when drawing on the pipe, "cool" air is also drawn through the carburetor hole to mix with the "hot" air coming from the top of the pipe, thus providing a "cooler, drier smoke".
Cosmic, I'm a bit of a procrastinator (some would say a HUGE procrastinator) but I will post pictures when the pipe is cleaned up.
If anyone knows a top-shelf guy to refurbish the pipe in Canada I would appreciate a PM. I have a fellow but I would like to have options. Thanks!

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,810
5
Spoiler alert: the cool air does not draw in through the tiny little carb with such an open draw from the top of the chamber available.

 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
587
46
Canada
Crash, that makes sense. Probably why this design feature has faded into the pages of history. But it does make it interesting.

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,810
5
Oh absolutely. Note that I own that Kaywoodie. It is not going anywhere. It is a cool piece of history and I smoke it from time to time. But it will never make the regular rotation.

 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
587
46
Canada
That's what I like about some of these pipes. If I'm right, this one is 107 years old; imagine what it was like back then. Unfortunately I have virtually no information about the pipe other than the previous owner bought it as a prop for a costume party. I got it for $25 CDN. Oh, and at the same time I picked up a Hudson Bay blanket, another item that has it's place in history.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,712
363
You got a steal deal. If it is 1911, that would certainly be the earliest pipe I've heard of with a carburetor. Unfortunately, the material I have on GBD is for the English production and only as far back as 1938, so way too late to be useful.

 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
587
46
Canada
I know, gotta love it when you stumble onto a bargain. Now you touched on the one thing that might prove my date of 1911 incorrect; the carburetor. Did they make them that early? I wondered about that. And now I'm wondering about the date of 1911. The London date letter for both 1911 and 1931 are lowercase q. And they are very close in design. And the stamping is no longer crisp but worn. I've read what I could about GBD but it seems to focus on the British made pipes more than the pipes from the French factories. Do we have an expert on all GBD pipes on Pipesmagazine? Here's a picture of a pipe that has very similar hallmarks to mine. The shape of the date letter is like mine. Either way, it's an interesting mystery.


 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
2,961
102
In the picture of hallmarks above with the p, I'm going to say 1910. I know I've seem that mark on the left before, I just can't remember where...

 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
587
46
Canada
You are correct Dave. The U is the symbol for London silver import mark:
http://www.silvercollection.it/dictionaryimportmarksUK.html
I pulled the picture of the 1910 hallmark from here:
http://www.silvercollection.it/DICTIONARYTOBACCONISTA.html

 

jguss

Preferred Member
Jul 7, 2013
674
13
The carburetor question is a good one and I’m not sure of the answer. I can tell you that the GBD Speciale dates from no later than 1906, so that part is consistent with the historical record

 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
587
46
Canada
I used the following for the London date letter. The q on the hallmark looks fatter like the 1911 rather than the skinnier 1931.
http://www.silvercollection.it/englishsilverhallmarks.html

But it comes down to the carburetor. This may be unanswered until some future date when more information is discovered.

 

snagstangl

Preferred Member
Jul 1, 2013
1,142
4
The 1921 civic catalog has a line of pipe's called Steel's that all have carbs in them like this GBD. So they were in the market at that time.