Another Tilshead? Strange Auction and Strange Little Pipe - Pics

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Preferred Member
Nov 3, 2013
This is one of those pipe purchases that are just odd. I had no intention of buying another Tilshead pipe so soon after my other one. Sometimes I just like to cruise eBay and see what's there that's interesting. Right away I came across a pipe advertised as a Tm Shead, hand made in England. The photos were dark and not sharp, but the close ups of the stampings wasn't too bad and I realized that it was a Tilshead pipe. Somehow it looked a little wonky even with the bad photos. It had no bids yet, and was to start at $9.99 or buy it now for $24.99. Shipping? Free, pick up only. Whaaa? Why for something as easy to ship like a pipe would it have to be pick up only? I checked the sellers other items and there were shipping prices for all of them. So with about 90 min. left for the auction I contacted the seller and tried to see what was going on. I never figured that he would see the message before the auction ended. But I got an email 30 min. later saying that the listing was a mistake and he corrected it. When I looked again, it was just a regular auction starting at $9.99. with free shipping. I figured what the heck, and put in a bid of $15, and my bid showed $10.49. Huh? Somewhere along the line I guess someone bid $9.99 so mine was .50 more. about 45 min. later the pipe was mine for the $10.49.
I got the pipe today and was surprised to see that it was quite small, about a group 2 in size, just under 5". The drilling on the bowl is ridiculous! Way off center and the stamping was a little different too. England followed Tilshead instead of being under it. The Made By Hand looked about right, but the stampings seemed to be rather rough looking. I can't believe someone would bother to make a fake Tilshead pipe, so what's the deal with this little odd ball? Nice enough grain, and no obvious flaws, but it's so small, and that bowl!! I haven't done any cleaning yet, and I'm hoping Ken Barnes or someone who know a bit about these pipes will chime in here and tell me what I've got.



Staff member
May 11, 2011
Tiny Tilsheads were definitely not the norm, it will be interesting to get Ken B's comment.

That is a great looking shape for sure! Wonky drilled pipes usually smoke just fine, so good luck!



Preferred Member
Nov 3, 2013
Both Upshall and Tilshead pipes are not known for being small, especially this small. Plus the stamping is not what is normally seen on the left side of a Tilshead pipe. The drilling of the bowl off center is certainly not the norm on any Upsall or Tilshead pipe either. But hey, there could be some of their other pipes with oddities like this out there. I'm not saying this pipe is bad, I'm just curious why it's so different from the other Tilshead pipes I've seen.



Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
Yeah, that's an odd duck. Will be interesting to hear what this one's all about.
My baseless guess would be it's a a very early Tilshead, perhaps before they came up with a regular stamp for pipes that didn't make the cut as an Upshall.



Senior Member
Nov 12, 2015
I didn't know which thread to reply to so I have copied and pasted my message from the other thread.

I love this little pipe - nice grain on the 'front' side too.

It is definitely hand-made eh?

I think that the bowl was a little over-worked on the sand-papering. I can see that Barry Jones formed the curve of the mouthpiece - it's a beautiful curve, his style, like a thumb print.

This pipe was made after 1989 because when I worked at Tilshead (until 1989) we did not use to engrave the Tilshead Pipes.

I hope it smokes well.



Senior Member
Apr 10, 2016
Smaller Upshalls. In 1983 Ken Barnes sent me a very small and tiny prince shape.He wrote " A small P grade enclosed.Please

return if not satisfied"

I fool, I sent it back.
Later this year he sent me a large Canadian - which I still moke.



Preferred Member
Nov 3, 2013
Well I learned some things about Upshall and Tilshead pipes from this thread and the other Upshall discussion thread, which is one of the best threads I've read here I might add. So much useful information about pipe and tobacco history on these forums makes one grateful to be a part of it. Thanks to all who added their thoughts, and to Ken Barnes for clearing things up.

So nothing left but to clean the little pipe up and take it for a test run with a little of Russ O's Tasty Kake! Turns out in spite of the oddly drilled bowl it smokes really well, with a nice open draw.



Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2017
United States
If you ever tire of that group 2, I have a honking large Mountbatten that I will trade. It will hold enough tobacco for a 2 hour smoke.