Should I restore my 1937 Dunhill?

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bencdavidson

New member
Jan 11, 2017
4
0
I've enjoyed pipes for a few years now, but I don't really know too much about them. This pipe belonged to my great-grandfather and was willed to me when he passed. His name was Desmond and he was an employee at the Dunhill factory. I was told this was his favorite pipe.
I posted the below on Reddit and was told it is a 1937 Dunhill Root Briar Group 5
"The pipe is obviously a little worn. Below is what I think is engraved on either side, though it's hard to be sure.

The left side has the letter R and says Dunhill London.

The right side says Made in England and the number 5, 50, or 53 and PAT. N9 417574/17"
Can anyone here give me any additional information? Any ideas on what its value is? I have no intention of selling it, but I'm curious as I've been told it's an impressive piece.
I'd also like to get it restored but have a few questions about that as well. Does restoring a pipe destroy its value? What would be done to restore a pipe in this condition. I'd also like it to still keep its character and not look brand new. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!





 

theloniousmonkfish

Preferred Member
Jan 1, 2017
767
0
It's all up to you since it's yours but if I were to clean that one up it would be with the lightest touch possible. The rim and bowl look to have a couple dings but I wouldn't want anyone messing with it if they're going to top it or touch it with any aggressive techniques. The best restorations are the ones no one can tell have been restored, tread lightly, all personal opinion. That said it's a gorgeous pipe and I hope you get it back in proper condition to fully enjoy.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,883
810
Monterey Peninsula
Do nothing!! That is, until you can get it in the hands of a proper restorer. You have a treasure, and quite right, you don't want it refinished, but restored.
Best of luck, and don't forget to post photos after the cleaning and restoration.

 

mayfair70

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2015
1,968
0
That is an amazing pipe. Beautiful. If this were my pipe, the only restoration I would do is a cleaning to remove the char from the rim of the bowl and take a little chatter from the mouthpiece near the button. I can't tell if the finish is wearing on the bowl or not. The stamping is quite shallow and any machine buffing would compromise the future ability to read the already faded nomenclature. In short, no refurb, just a simple, expert, cleaning. There are a couple members here who do fantastic work and I would NOT send this pipe to anyone but the most skilled worker. It is too valuable, monetarily and sentimentally, to entrust to any old pipe-cleaning hobbyist such as myself. GeorgeD and others will hopefully chime in on a recommended course of action. Best Wishes!!

 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
2,962
103
As Mike said, it appears to be shape 59. The dating is correct. In the right hands, it could be cleaned and "restored" to a condition that would make your great-grandfather proud, in the wrong hands...

Are you in the US? UK?

 

jitterbugdude

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2014
994
2
I'm curious as to why you want to get it restored. That char in the bowl is from your Great-Grandfather. The teeth marks on the stem.. from your Great-Grandfather too. If it has sentimental value to you,leave it exactly the way it is. If not, get it restored.

 

piffyr

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
778
38
On it's own, that is an exceptional pipe. The fact that it has a personal connection to you makes it something even more special. I'd suggest that a very light touch would be the way to go with that one. It has a history with your great-grandfather and you don't want to erase that. Each of those superficial dings is a small story. A good cleaning and a delicate polish that preserves the already compromised stamping is all that it needs.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,883
810
Monterey Peninsula
Yes, that last sentence says it better than my post above. I would avoid any use of the word 'restoration'. Refurbishing, too, may imply too much that might diminish what you have.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,243
445
Doing nothing is way better than doing the wrong thing. You want to keep it in collector condition. Don't use any chemicals, abrasives, sandpaper, alcohol, etc. And don't ream. If you must do anything beside buff it with a soft rag and wipe out the bowl with a paper towel after a smoke, and clean it with a pipe cleaner, I'd get the name of a qualified Dunhill repair person recommended by the factory and have them do only a gentle cleaning. Basically, the less done the better. The pipe looks great and is as it should be.

 

papipeguy

Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
15,799
6
Bethlehem, Pa.
Send it to georged (George Dibos). He's the finest person to take care of your pipe. I had him restore my grandfather's 1936 Dunhill and it was a miraculous job.

 

davet

Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
3,778
2
The right side says Made in England and the number 5, 50, or 53 and PAT. N9 417574/17"
That patent number again, same as in the other 1937 Dunhill thread. Does this mean anything? Or is this an example of the correct pipe/pat no. ?
there appears be a Dunhill stamping tool dating to 1937 that reads: DUNHILL SHELL MADE IN ENGLAND [over] PAT. No 41757417 in the hands of some illiterate who has used it to stamp at least 3 different ‘group 4sh’ fake smooth finished pipes.


 

ophiuchus

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2016
1,205
17
At least this one appears to be the real deal. :wink:
I have to add another recommendation to forget restoration and for doing as little as possible to that pipe to clean it. That's a grand specimen as is.
(I've smoked the hell out of pipes for years just to get them to look like that!)

 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
2,962
103
That patent number again, same as in the other 1937 Dunhill thread. Does this mean anything? Or is this an example of the correct pipe/pat no. ?
The marking on this pipe are correct. Look closely at the first picture.

 

bencdavidson

New member
Jan 11, 2017
4
0
Thanks to everyone who commented! It has been really special to learn some more about my great-grandad's favorite pipe! I can't wait to smoke it. I'm definitely leaning towards just getting it cleaned up instead of a restoration. Here's some more pictures - based on these what would you recommend I clean or leave alone?
Thanks again for all of your help!!
P.S. I tried to get a clearer shot of the stampings for those of you who were curious about them. Sorry for the quality! Best I could do with an iPhone :wink:












 

alexnorth

Preferred Member
Apr 7, 2015
602
0
A nice pipe with a nice story. Whatever you choose to do about restoration work i hope you get to smoke it and enjoy for many years to come.