Castello Pipe Shapes

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briarblues

Member
Aug 3, 2017
252
2
Harris
Well that depends. Do you want to re arrange your collection and only collect the shape 55? Do you want to make all your other pipes feel unwanted as you always reach for the shape 55? Your call.
I smoke my shape 55's more than any other pipe shape in my collection. I smoke Virginia's and Virginia flakes. My shape 55's are smoking machines! Out of 17 Castello's, 6 are shape 55's.
Regards

Michael J. Glukler

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,671
711
United States
Mike, that is what I am afraid of. I am too old to re work my collection. Maybe if I love it, I could stop at say 3 of them as I could smoke a 55 once a day. I am assuming that a Sea Rock will smoke as good as an Occhio?

 

briarblues

Member
Aug 3, 2017
252
2
Harris
That being the case, I strongly suggest you do NOT get a shape 55. BUT in the event you do ... welcome to the dark side. :)
All Castello pipes come from the same briar stock! All aged a minimum of 10 years. What makes a Sea Rock different than a Fiammata? Simply put .... grain! Lack of sand spots. Flame grains with very few "flaws" will be graded higher. Sea Rocks require rustication to remove sand spots. They will smoke very similarly.
This ALL goes out the window with the shape 55 though. For whatever reason, this shape just smokes amazingly well, through all grades. If you really want to try one, look for a pre smoked Sea Rock. If you would prefer un smoked, my suggestion is to look at the Trade Mark series. I very often will see some excellent cross grains, that due to the lay out of the cross section do not meet the Collection Occhio Di Pernice grade.
You have been warned. :)
Regards

Michael J. Glukler

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,813
178
Harris, I completely understand your point. I also have never favored the overt look of the 55s. But somehow I ended up with a few in my collection because they are smoking machines. I don't think you could go wrong with a simple sea rock 55, but I would look for a smaller one, like kk size.
BTW, throw some cube cut Salty Dogs or PH Curly Block in a 55 and sit back and hold on tight for a nirvana two hour smoke.
But, keep in mind, 55s don't clench well imho. They are more of a hand held pipe.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,671
711
United States
Neal, I have been smoking my lone Castello( Occhio Dublin) more in the last couple of months than I had for a number of years. I keep asking myself is the plastic stem really a deal breaker for buying any more Castello's. I have been pining for them once again but haven't acted.
jp, the Jay Leno pipe, I totally can see that. It does have a big time chin which is why it looks so weird to me.

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,150
31
Neal, I have been smoking my lone Castello( Occhio Dublin) more in the last couple of months than I had for a number of years. I keep asking myself is the plastic stem really a deal breaker for buying any more Castello's. I have been pining for them once again but haven't acted.
jp, the Jay Leno pipe, I totally can see that. It does have a big time chin which is why it looks so weird to me.
Harris, most 55’s you see new today are relatively lacking in the chin department. I have 2, both are great smokers, but so are the other Castello shapes I own now. Flakes, mixtures, whatever. The only ones I shy away from now are 74’s and 97’s based on previous negative smoking experiences. And others like those, so it must be me. That one shape is more a smoking machine than another just shows the herd mentality at work, IMO. I have heard the same meme about 10’s, 11’s, 84’s, and 65’s to name just 4 over the last 30+ years. I own 10 65’s right now and would buy another right this minute if I liked it, but that is because they suit me for a leisurely evening smoke when I have a few hours to read and relax. The Trademark SS 17 I smoked this morning was just as good a smoke as any of them.
I made my piece with Lucite bits decades ago, as a general rule, but Castellos recent production bits are thicker than I prefer and while I do buy new ones, my primary interest now is finding really nice older ones. Which is a challenge.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,195
184
Maryland
I made my piece with Lucite bits decades ago, as a general rule, but Castellos recent production bits are thicker than I prefer and while I do buy new ones, my primary interest now is finding really nice older ones. Which is a challenge.
Oldgeezer and I are usually on the same page, so my experience is largely the same her on newer bits. My new KK 65 from Tabaccheria Corti Lecco a pleasant exception.

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,150
31
Oldgeezer and I are usually on the same page, so my experience is largely the same her on newer bits. My new KK 65 from Tabaccheria Corti Lecco a pleasant exception.
My smaller “Kino” pipes tend towards being OK in the bit department. I should have made that distinction. I have a k billiard Sea Rock that measures right at the size of a current production Dunhill 1103 (Group 1) that I measured against at the time that Al Pascia had listed. It has as comfortable a Lucite bit as I have ever owned. Tiny little thing, Rich Esserman called it a tamper, but damn it smokes great.
Is that 65 the pipe I tipped you on a year or so ago, Al? Memories fade, I can’t recall if it was a 65 or 55.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,671
711
United States
oldgeezer, thanks for your take on Castello, sounds like you might be sporting just a few.

I am not that concerned with the looks of a 55 just how it smokes and you have answered that issue. Now all there is left to do is find one that fits my size and weight criteria.

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,150
31
oldgeezer, thanks for your take on Castello, sounds like you might be sporting just a few.

I am not that concerned with the looks of a 55 just how it smokes and you have answered that issue. Now all there is left to do is find one that fits my size and weight criteria.
Thanks for the kind words. Just from a smoking point of view your focus on the weight and size are absolutely what you should be most concerned with. But as I heard too many years ago to bear thinking about, “You also smoke with your eyes.” And the current production “chinless” examples most commonly seen today are very attractive pipes indeed. One of mine only has the slightest hint of a chin, and it is a pioe my executor will have to deal with.
Please feel free to ignore an old mans ramblings, but.... Starting sometime in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Castello design innovations really took off, firmly establishing what we now call the “neoclassical” look. Earlier shapes were more faithful emulations of Dunhill, Sasieni and Barling. This was also the period in which Italian design in many things such as clothing, shoes, cars, furniture etc., was taking off in worldwide acceptance. This was important to Italy’s economy, and the Italian government honored its best designers with an award that I have been told is the equivalent of being knighted in England. Carlo Scotti was one of those recipients. I used to have a small brochure that was entirely devoted to the 55. It featured line drawings of a man smoking his 55 in what was kind of a composite of what a 1960’s Italian Convertible sports car would look like. Of course, all of the 55’s featured in that brochure had the Leno chin. As did the ones I first saw in the early 1980’s. They screamed “Italian design” and the 1960’s and 1970’s were my formative years, so....
Forgive my sentimentality, but age does have its privileges. I want the damn chin!

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,671
711
United States
oldgeezer, thanks for the history lesson, I find that kind of stuff really interesting. I got into pipes in 1997 and Castellos were the first Italian pipes I began collecting.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,195
184
Maryland
Is that 65 the pipe I tipped you on a year or so ago, Al? Memories fade, I can’t recall if it was a 65 or 55.
It sure is, tiny little KK, little more than tamper, but it goes with me on every trip and is a magnificent smoker.
Here's one that has so far eluded me, a Shape 83 Bullmoose. I've never seen one in the wild. A brown KK, or KKK Sea Rock would be wonderful to find.

https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/castello/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=50254


 

daveinlax

Preferred Member
May 5, 2009
1,060
6
WISCONSIN
To my eye the older 55's were more of a small bent pot without the exaggerated chin. It's not not my shape but the lines on the newer 55's with the big chin just don't look right to me. I collect Castello paper and would dearly love to see your brochure! 8O

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,150
31
Al, i think you meant to say an 85, which is the # SP assigned to it. And which I think is right. Not easy to find, but I have seen them from time to time on the various Italian web pages. I bet the guy at Corti could whistle one up for you. That is a nice one, by the way. Send him those pictures with the dimensions and weight.
The virtues of smaller Castellos are deeply under appreciated, at least in the US.

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,150
31
To my eye the older 55's were more of a small bent pot without the exaggerated chin. It's not not my shape but the lines on the newer 55's with the big chin just don't look right to me. I collect Castello paper and would dearly love to see your brochure! 8O
We should have known each other before 2001. Changes in health and everything else that followed weren’t kind to the physical collections I had. The brochure in question was actually produced under the name of either Novelli or Noli. It was a foldout that could have fit in a pipe box when folded. It featured a quote by Scotti “I don’t run a factory, I have an artisan workshop” , more or less,in Italian, then the various illustrations of the rakish 55’s. If it came from Novelli, perhaps Marco would know of it. The only such thing I ever saw devoted to one shape.

 

lasabbia

New member
May 16, 2015
8
1
Great thread. I collect primarily Castellos. I haven’t concentrated on any one shape, but rather have mostly favorite shapes (e.g., 55s, pokers, Oom Pauls) in equal number in favorite finishes (“Castello”, Sea Rock, Natural Vergin, and Old Antiquari).

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,150
31
Al, darn you. That pipe you pictured, the bull moose which I believe is an 85 and not an 83, really got on my mind. So after sleeping on it, I sent a picture to an Italian friend, now based in another country, who, like me, has seen a few but never owned one. Well, after exchanging texts back and forth, we decided to send a picture to his friend (they have vacationed together with their wives) who owns a shop in Italy. We have different preferences as to size, finish and “deal breaker” musts, but suffice it to say that we hope to have one each by this fall when my friend is in Italy again.

 

laniromee

Junior Member
Jul 31, 2018
64
17
I don't know. Castellos are always on my mind when the time to get a new pipe arrives as I really like a lot of things about their pipes, like the finish on those light stained searocks with black rims, the logo on the stem, and of course the quality of craftsmanship that Castello owners are always raving about. But I really dislike the shapes. I guess the italian school with its sharp angles are not for me. Is there any Castello shape that falls more in line with the english/french tradition?