Sasieni - Bowls Coated?

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ssjones

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May 11, 2011
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Check out this Family era (pre '79) Sasieni, advertised as "unsmoked".

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Unsmoked-Sasieni-Ashford-Natural-Four-Dot-S-English-Classic-Author-Billiard-Pipe-/151789599125?
The bowl is coated and the seller remarks:

Additionally, Sasieni coated their bowls.
He also adds:

-If you're new to Sasieni you're probably not looking at this, but if

you are please know that most bent Sasieni's do not pass

a pipe cleaner to the bowl. Buy a straight one.
All of my bent Sasienis, including two full bents, pass a cleaner. So, that doesn't give him a good deal of credibility on the bowl coating remark.
I've never seen an unsmoked vintage Four Dot. Can anyone confirm the bowl coating remark?

 

petes03

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
5,245
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I don't know about the older ones.

My only one is a newer 4 Dot bent Dublin, which did have a bowl coating, and does pass a pipe cleaner with no issues.

 

bonehed

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Nov 27, 2014
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I'm no authority, but it looks legit to me... I'd go for it (if I had the funds to spare and was Sasieni hunting.)

 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
2,993
142
Coated bowl......I suppose it's possible. If I had to take a guess at dating that pipe, and it's a very subjective one, I would say 1970's. I'm saying that just looking at the deeper color tone of the dots, irrespective of whether it's "unsmoked" or not. Don't own an Ashford, but I prefer the taper stem to the saddle.

 

mranglophile

Senior Member
May 11, 2015
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United States
Even my Bent Old England passes a cleaner and its a sub brand. I bought a NOS Old England and I don't remember a bowl coating because I would of removed it but maybe my memory is failing.

 

jguss

Preferred Member
Jul 7, 2013
699
61
Dave, I think your dating estimate is spot on. While this pipe could have theoretically been bought at the tail end of the sixties, it's much more likely to date from the seventies. The Iwan Ries sticker on the box is the giveaway; the shop didn't move to that address until May 31, 1968. Presumably it might have taken them a while to get stickers with the new address made and apply them to existing stock. Iwan Ries moved again, by the way, on July 1, 1984. So taking into account considerations associated with the termination of the "family era", the pipe must have been made in the decade between 1968-1978.

 

neverbend

Member
Apr 20, 2014
230
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Bents are less able to pass a cleaner because there can be difficulty (more bent, more severe) in matching the stems' angle of entry (into the mortise) to the corresponding drill angle into the bowl. When drilling bents the bit often needs to be angled upwards, excavating the mortise above center, and that facilitates passing. The ability to pass a cleaner, especially on a machine maker, isn't related to the quality of the line (1sts or 2nds).
This seller makes comments that seem aimed to sway the less experienced.
Clever detective work Jon :).

The Iwan Ries sticker on the box is the giveaway
 

buroak

Preferred Member
Jul 29, 2014
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Sasieni (family era) did not coat their bowls, but their heat curing method formed a carbonized layer in the bowl that looks a heck of a lot like a bowl coating. From a 1960s Sasieni catalog (http://pipepages.com/64sas3a.htm):
"One of the processes to which all of our bowls are subjected is the special Sasieni carbonising process. During this treatment the bowls are subjected to high temperatures under scientifically controlled conditions. As a result the interior of the bowl is carbonised to the exact degree necessary to ensure a sweet mellow smoke from the start. This treatment also serves to remove the last vestiges of bitter oils or sap and also uncovers any hidden flaws which might otherwise pass unnoticed."
I am glad at least some parts of Chris Keene's Pipe Pages remain functional.

 

buroak

Preferred Member
Jul 29, 2014
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The photo below shows the chamber of an unsmoked Sasieni billiard. It actually looks more smoked than coated.


 

dmcmtk

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Aug 23, 2013
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I am glad at least some parts of Chris Keene's Pipe Pages remain functional.
When you find a link at pipepages.com that doesn't work, re-type it as chriskeene.com. That will usually solve the problem.

 

ssjones

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May 11, 2011
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Nice job buroak, now we know the answer. That makes perfect sense and it was right under our noses!
Those unsmoked Ashfords should be a hoot to watch.

 

neverbend

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Apr 20, 2014
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"One of the processes to which all of our bowls are subjected is the special Sasieni carbonising process. During this treatment the bowls are subjected to high temperatures under scientifically controlled conditions. As a result the interior of the bowl is carbonised to the exact degree necessary to ensure a sweet mellow smoke from the start. This treatment also serves to remove the last vestiges of bitter oils or sap and also uncovers any hidden flaws which might otherwise pass unnoticed."
If this process was done to the bowl (as stated) and the tobacco chamber looked like the picture above then something is amiss because it's not evident on the bowl.

 

buroak

Preferred Member
Jul 29, 2014
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ssjones, My pleasure. I am glad some of the usually useless recollections and knowledge rattling about in my noggin could do some good. The Ashfords should indeed be fun, especially considering the dynamic of having three listed at the same time.
neverbend, I have wondered about that, too. From what I have seen of unsmoked family era Sasienis, which is only three, I can merely speculate that the carbonizing process was performed after the chamber was drilled, but prior to cutting the mortise, boring the airway, or finishing the outside of the stummel.

 

neverbend

Member
Apr 20, 2014
230
0
Hi Buroak,
In the era that this pipe was made, the tobacco chamber and bowl were frazed (rather) simultaneously by machine, basically a finished stummel needing only to be fine sanded and finished. That's serious char inside the chamber but not a hint on the bowl :).
The idea that a company needed to artificially dry their briar implies that they bought inferior (wet) wood. The disconnect between what we see and what the catalog says makes me believe that the 'heat' process was just marketing. Thanks for the find, interesting.

 

buroak

Preferred Member
Jul 29, 2014
1,858
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neverbend, Thanks for providing a pipe industry insider's take on what we see and read from Sasieni. Given that the carbonized layer is found only in the bowl (none of the unsmoked specimens I have seen had any trace in the mortise or in the airway past where it meets the chamber), perhaps their heat treatment was performed by directly subjecting only the bowl interior to a heat source. Doing so would produce the carbonized layer we see without affecting the exterior of the stummel. What they did may have been a variation on the Grabow Pre-Smoking theme.

 

buroak

Preferred Member
Jul 29, 2014
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When you find a link at pipepages.com that doesn't work, re-type it as chriskeene.com. That will usually solve the problem.
I have used the chriskeene.com workaround numerous times. Actually, today's search for that catalog page started at chriskeene.com but took me to pipepages.com. What you are recommending, though, sounds different than my usual workaround. Are you saying that you go into the URL of a nonfunctional link and replace pipepages.com with chriskeene.com?

 

buroak

Preferred Member
Jul 29, 2014
1,858
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I tried what I think dmcmtk is recommending, and it worked. Below is a link to more information related to the heat treatment. Note the absence of any mention of carbonizing. That may have been a later development. Was it possibly an attempt to economize their seasoning process?
http://chriskeene.com/sasi3

 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
2,993
142
Reading the info from the catalog, it seems to be referring to the blocks of briar before they are turned, drilled, and shaped, no? Although looking at the picture, it looks like "the girls" are wiping down shaped briar (looks to small for "blocks")......

 
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