Are you inspired by pictures of pipes and reviews posted on here? Perhaps you buy certain shaped for certain styles of tobacco? Do you just buy whatever catches your eye? Maybe you collect certain brands or shapes?
So, how do you choose a new pipe?
I do an eBay search for "estate tobacco pipes" and sort the results by "ending soonest". Then I scan the list for pipes under ten bucks. From there I look at stuff that catches my eye such as an unusual shape or name.
Here are a few of the style I have been buying up over the years. The only pain I find in buying new ones up is the wear that occurs in the neck of pre 1900 meerschaums. I find that sellers seem to solve the stem problems with (a) dental floss (b) cotton thread or small bits of paper. In the regards to sellers I am always reminded of Dr. Houses great mantra …'Every body lies' so when I buy a pipe I always assume a one way trip to the pipe hospital will be necessary before the pipe is pressed into service. These group here represent my Monday to Friday office rotation. When I buy I look for style, length and how much damage has been done to the poor creature over the years!
I very rarely decide to buy a new pipe ... I suppose this might sound odd, but most often, a new pipe chooses me.
I DO peruse the offerings of a number of various retailers and etailers, I receive various bulletins from those and other sources, I periodically look at what a limited (and trusted) number of select eBay merchants have listed, and check what fellow forum members are putting up for sale or trade ... now and again, something from one of those sources just sings to me ... it may be something similar to what I own, it may be something quite disparate ... but, for whatever reason, it's something to which I'm drawn ...
Hi David. It's amazing what you do when you are bored! The bowls are about 30% bigger than a clay pipe. From left to right 1891 long meerschaum in clay pipe style with full amber stem, meerschaum pipe with amber stem, age unknown, next is a London meerschaum with amber stem that has been shortened by its owner and provided with a hand made hard wood case which is the first case you see on top of the other cases. The next is a standard meerschaum pipe with red amber stem and silver band about early 1900s. The next one is early 1870s with amber stem. I think with extensive repairs both at the time and a few from me added over the years. It is the first 'cutty' meerschaum I purchased back in the mid 1980s and has given me years of faithful service. The final one is a great favorite of mine and is just getting broken in. I think it dates before the First Word War but I cannot tell although it was made by a Parisian pipe maker. I have many more but these are my children whose company I enjoy the most whilst working in my office.
It's said that fly fiman go through phases. First, it's to catch as many fish as possible. Second, to catch the largest of fish possible and finally to catch the most difficult of all or most selective of fish. I think for pipe smokers/collectors it's very similar. At this point in the hobby, I'm prone to go after old wood in the most classic of shapes with billiards and bulldogs in that order. I drool over all the artisan ads and the online catalogs but rarely pull the trigger because it's not what's doing it for me right now. I'd rather stash my $ for more tobacco than to buy a high end pipe and I'm totally happy with that for the time being. I've bought and sold a good number of pipes over the years and excitement factor for my current pipe lust is when I get to haggle over some old London estate or an Italian no name that just speaks to me. I think all that is what makes this hobby such a fun one. Who knows, maybe in 10 years I might only be into 1990's Danish Freehands?
When I am in the market for a pipe, the first thing I think about is how well it will smoke my flake tobacco's. Next I determine if I want a pipe from a certain artisan and then I think about what shape I am interested in. I use that system for a new pipe.
If I am considering an estate pipe, I will look to see if a pipe catches my eye and if it is from an artisan I trust or from one I want to own a first from. Then I will think about if the shape is conducive to smoking my flakes, if it is the right size and weight and if it is a good value. I no longer buy a pipe based on looks or from someone I am not familiar with. I no longer buy pipes with anything but high quality German Vulcanite stems and that are not hand cut. It took me a long time before I understood exactly what I liked in a pipe. I pretty much got tired of buying pipes and then deciding the pipe really did not work for me and then having to take the time to re sell the pipe. Now when I buy a pipe I am very confident I will have it in my collection for number of years.
Now for me it is about many things; Engineering/Pipe-Makers, size of chambers for types of blends I'm smoking; weight/length, etc. but don't let all that crap get in your way for total enjoyment of good 'ol PAD :worship:
As I sit here now thinking up code for a new search App for PAD. Please let me know brothers and sisters if you think there is
a market for such a search/Mobile App 8) Would also be looking for suggestions on a great name for the app/search engine site :wink: