How much is a pipe really worth?

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maxpeters

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2010
435
0
How much do you usually spend on a new pipe? How much is too much for you?

Browsing through several pipe sale sites, I have come upon those mighty Dane pipes more than enough times, with their "more than enough" prices.

Sure, they are very nice pipes, and very well made, but they are just pipes. Does it make any sense spending thousands of dollars for one?

Rick Newcomb's book " In Search of Pipe Dreams" attempts to justify the cost of such pipes as those made by Jess Chonowitch, S. Bang, Anne Julie etc saying that they are also works of art. Really? They're just pipes for goodness sakes!

To smoke tobacco in. Shouldn't THAT be the reason to get a pipe?

But just go on any pipe sales site and you'll run into such names as these and their pipes are all SOLD! Almost all of them. And I'll bet most of them will never see the flame of a match. Why? Because they are TOO VALUABLE to smoke!

I'm a pipe smoker, not an art collector. I think the whole thing is just silly.

And now comes a bunch of Russian pipe makers that someone wrote a praising article on, and now They are commanding huge prices. And GETTING them!

For instance, back in the 90's I bought an little Anne Julie smooth pipe at a pipe show. I paid $150.00 for it used. I thought that was a little extravagant, but I liked the pipe.

I just checked some of her pipes out that are for sale, and they are asking 3 and 4 thousand dollars apiece! And this is for pipes that have been partially rusticated apparently to hide flaws on the bowls.

I had an S. Bang oom paul for a long time. I just recently gave it to my son so he could sell it because he needed the money. He got $1100.00 for it used!

What is wrong with people? How much is a pipe really worth?

I know, the old saying that something is worth what someone else is willing to pay is true. Herman Lane proved that back in the 60's when he brought out the Charatan Supreme S-100, then the S-200 and so on, but come on. Are they really worth that much?

I had a nice Mike Butera high grade which I also gave to my son to sell. He said he got $900.00 for it. This is a pipe I had smoked for almost 15 years!

I think that as soon as people think that something will be collectable, they just can't wait to throw money at it. I guess they are afflicted with collectors-itemi-tis or something. Got to have something others want! At all costs!

I can see wanting something beautiful, and well made, and paying more for it just because of that, but when you are expected to fork over what amounts to 3 or 4 monthly mortgage payments for a pipe! Damn.

Where are we headed? I don't think the so called recession is all That bad if folks can still do that.

OK. my rant is over. Thanks for listening.

 

yuri66

Member
Nov 17, 2010
288
0
Hey Max,
Good rant, but you already answered your own question, ist worth what someone is willing to pay for it, true, to true, and unfortunately people actually pay the price. To me it is simple if I like a Pipe no matter who made it I will buy it if the price is right, I will buy a Dr. Grabow pipe for $29 quicker than a higher priced one, because I know I can smoke it and usually they smoke very good. That said it always depends on the pipe too, when you consider some of these fine hand crafted pipes the amount of work that is in it, it may well be worth the price, but as you said they were meant to be smoked not just looked at like a trophy, at least for me they are unique tools of the trade or as some would say, art of pipe smoking. Yes I have a few that I am very fond of and I am sure would fetch a good price, but as you I am a smoker and a collector but my collection as all of them are, are to be used. I collect cars and motorcycles, but if I cannot drive them then for what? To collect dust? No thanks. So again it denpends on what someone thinks the pipe is worth, that is what some fool will pay, and your right probably never smoke because it is too expensive.

 

puffintuff

Senior Member
Dec 14, 2010
438
0
I can not justify spending thousands of dollars on a pipe, my wife would shoot me. And I couldn't blame her. Estate pipes have more or less filled that void for me. Get a nice quality, high end pipe for a fraction of the cost.

 

admin

Smoking a Pipe Right Now
Staff member
Nov 16, 2008
7,916
55
St. Petersburg, FL
Yep. It's worth what you are willing to pay and what you can afford.
I thought I was hot shit with several Dunhills and an Ardor in the $350 - $400 range, but at the pipe shows I'm not impressing anybody and my pipes are pretty far from being the most expensive.
However, I was willing to pay what I paid for them, and I smoke them all. I do believe that some pipes are works of art, but I am not at the point where I would feel good about spending $900 or more on a pipe.
However, if someone can afford it, and a pipe maker can get $2,500 for a pipe, then good for them.
Also, as far as I know, Rick Newcombe, whom I've hung out and smoked with several times, smokes ALL of his pipes.
As far as ART in general, I just don't get it. I don't have an appreciation for works of art, like paintings, sculptures, etc. I would never spend money on anything like that. Although, Laura has some paintings hanging in our condo that make the place look nicer and I appreciate, I'm not an art kind of guy.
Same with pipes. I have seen and held some amazing pipes with retails of $2,500 upwards. Maybe if I had a lot more disposable income I would buy some, but I am not sure.
Perhaps with these type of pipes, in addition to being able to afford it, you also have to be someone that appreciates art?

 

wolfscout

Senior Member
Dec 13, 2010
417
0
Newberry, SC
I'm not one to spend that kind of money for my pipes either. But I get what I want as long as money is not a question (usually it is). Us common folk can admire the works of art.. but we require functionality and a smooth puffer.

I keep getting outbid for a certain pipe shape on ebay ... ticks me off they have that kind of money. LMAO.

 

jcsnaps

Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2010
1,032
0
Great rant, and ever so full of meaning. I love great looking pipes, but at over $1000 I can't see putting that kind of money out on something I'm going to add fire to. I'd rather get 10 good smoking $100 pipes. I love cars also, but for the price of an Aston Martin Volante I can have the whole family each in a new car, and yet if I had the funds smoking an Ann Julie driving down the road in a Volante would be pleasing.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,395
137
Chicago, IL
If driving somewhere is important, a Chevy or Ford will do the job. Yet, some people choose a pricey SUV or top-of-the-line sedan. IMO, the latter group is making a statement, or they think they're making an investment; but it has little to do with accomplishiong the task at hand. Both views are valid for the individual.

 

bubbadreier

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2010
3,013
0
Norman, Oklahoma
I for one see the beauty in the pipe and the "value" of these high grade one of a kind hand carved pipes, but lack the ability to purchase one of these pieces of art. For this reason I look at these pipes as I would art in a museum, pretty but unattainable. Now I can't say that I could never afford these pipes, but even if one day I could I don't think I would. If I had a choice of a $4,000.00 pipe or $4,000.00 for tools and blocks of briar, I would start setting up a garage pipe making workshop!! Just my humble opinion which isn't worth the 2 cents!

 

pstlpkr

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2009
9,739
0
Birmingham, AL
I would count my Ascorti among those that could bring big bucks.

It was as I remember perceived by Mr. Elliot's customers as over priced when it was on display. Skip's father was breaking away from The Tinder Box, and it stayed on the wall for a couple of years... no one was willing to spend $650 for it. Besides it was a very unusual pipe (at that time). I saved and saved (in my youth). After Mr. Elliot's passing, and the birth of The Briary, Skip knew I loved it and asked me to make an offer. I did. I bought it for about $225 as I remember.

A couple of weeks later, I wandered into another of the 2 remaining Tinder Boxes in B'ham. It just so happened Giuseppe Ascorti had died and his son had taken over pipe production. (While Roberto's skills are good, he wasn't in his father's league.) The "New Line" pipe began to be mass produced. Mine is THE original. Well... to make a long story a little longer, the proprietor immediately spotted it and offered me $1000 cash for it. Needless to say, it is one of my most cherished pipes.

The moral of the story: A pipe is worth only what the market can bear, but history can increase its collectibility and by extension its value.



 

jship079

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2010
459
0
I would say that it is totally up to the "collector" to what they fell is collectible. Is a Honis Wagner baseball card worth 500,000 is a Picasso worth 10,000,000 is a original Barbie worth 30,000 it really just depends on your resources and what you are willing to pay. I personally wold never pay 60,000 for a pipe no mater how much I had but would I spend 1,000 maybe if I had the resources. I think it boils down to you is a pipe a tool just used to burn tobacco or is it something worth collecting thats really just up to the individual person.

 

surfmac211

Preferred Member
Oct 28, 2009
610
0
Jacksonville, Florida
I think it boils down to you is a pipe a tool just used to burn tobacco or is it something worth collecting thats really just up to the individual person.
I think that hits it on the nail. For me I love to smoke my pipes, but I have a fondness towards artisan pipes. Most of them only make a few pipes a year and have way more time invested in them than a pipe made by a big name company. They also don't have the man/machine power to manufacture a bunch a pipes a year, so prices go up. I have 2 J. Alan pipes that I saved up for because I love the work he does. I am happy to spend a little extra money to support his business and add to my small collection. Even though the pipes might cost extra I smoke all of my pipes. I smoke some with more care, but smoke them all.

 

iowamike

Senior Member
Nov 14, 2010
301
0
Whats the deal with the high price of these freehands? I like them but they all pretty much look the same to me. The same way a bulldog does or a billiard. No two pipes are exactly the same, they come from different blocks weather they are shaped the same or not. I have a MM and a ugly basket pipe that smoke as well as my $100 Stanwell or Peterson. Save your money and buy a Nording for less than $100. I would rather buy a load of different tobaccos. Just my opinion, whatever LOL.

 

strongirish

Senior Member
Aug 20, 2010
345
0
Lake Conroe, TX
Apipe is worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay. I have quite a large collection and I have many great smokers that run the price gamut from $10.00 to trbousands. I also have had bad smokers that are worth a lot of money.

 

searock

Member
Sep 15, 2010
246
0
Looks like this has been covered pretty well. I'll just say that there are some guys who buy pipes with their &*%# and not with their head.
Happy New Year!

 

unclearthur

Preferred Member
Mar 9, 2010
6,883
0
I worked in antiques way back. The first thing I learned is anything has a value of exactly what you can sell it for.

 

searock

Member
Sep 15, 2010
246
0
Here's a great example of an out of control price on a pipe. It's nice but I've seen and owned pipes with much better grain. I would say it should be about $500. retail.
http://cgi.ebay.com/James-Upshall-Unique-Giant-Sized-Freehand-Pipe-Grade-E-/160497304518?pt=UK_Collectables_Tobacciana_Smoking_LE&hash=item255e6283c6

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,395
137
Chicago, IL
Iowamike said
Save your money and buy a Nording for less than $100. I would rather buy a load of different tobaccos. Just my opinion,
I share your opinion. If you're in this hobby for pleasurable smoking, the old saying is, "Spend money on tobacco, not pipes."