What is the Ideal Size for a Prince?

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stanlaurel

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2015
701
1
I am planning to buy a Prince and I see that they come in so many sizes that it is confusing me.
Please weigh-in on what sorts of length, weight and chamber size combinations are best and what blends should be smoked in them.
Thanks.

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,023
4
I think this hinges on how you smoke. If you work while smoking the length and bend of the traditional prince can make for a lot of dumped ash if you aren't careful. A short straight prince would probably be easier to work with. The old school prince makes for a terrific clencher for the leisurely smoker; something between 5.5-6.5" and less than 1.5 oz. Beyond this I'll rotate through my blends to see what works best for a given pipe. I've found it exceedingly difficult to predict an exceptional combination of pipe and leaf and some of my most synergetic pairings defy dogma.
If I was in the market for a prince (and I am!) I would be looking for something light, long, bent, with thick walls and a short bowl.

 

moriarty

Member
Feb 3, 2012
144
0
I think this is a good question. The prince is one pipe where the dimensions are particularly important and cannot be varied much. You don't see Dunhill making group 2 size or group 6 size princes, as they would look wrong. I've seen larger than normal princes and they just look "off" to me, even when the proportions are right. There's no delicacy or grace. And smaller ones look weedy and like toy pipes.
The Dunhill group 4 (4407) prince dimensions are ideal, to me, and I've been happy with every prince I've owned, from numerous pipemakers, that observed similar dimensions. The key is the length - 6 1/4 inches. In order to make the bowl size right and keep the proportions elegant, the pipe needs some length in the stem. But more than this length would make it look like a churchwarden and it would be wrong. Too short and it loses all the elegance and grace of the shape. At this length the bowl would have about a 20mm wide chamber and a nice roundness to the bowl with comfortable wall thickness.
The chamber dimensions are important, I think, because it is supposed to be a pipe with a shallow, broad chamber. The depth and breadth of the chamber should be reasonably equal, like a pot. This gives a smoke that is not too long, and allows complex or strong blends to play best - particularly English and oriental blends. Same principle as the pot, but a much more beautiful shape.
It's all my opinion, of course, and if you prefer something different I can't argue. But I've found this to be the one pipe shape, more than any other, where varying the size or proportions never works as satisfactorily.

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,023
4
Woah, half of what I wrote above didn't make it through. There was an entire paragraph between the first and fourth sentences above that is absent and oddly, the text editor made a single paragraph out of the remainder. Weird.
Anyway, the gist is the same. I just mentioned that pipe makers are all over the place with their vision of the shape as a quick check at spc will show. You've gotta smoke it so pick one that appeals.
As far as the impact of bowl dimensions on tobacco choice, I tend to find bowls less than 20mm bring out the high notes while wider bowls accentuate the low.

 

kola

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2014
595
4
If we are lucky Greg Pease just might show off his Prince collection...best set of Princes I've ever seen. And they are what I like to call Prince "classics."
Personally I think the Prince (when done right) is sleek, classy and sassy and resembles a fine sports car. I like them 6 inches in length and in a weight range of 50-60 grams with just a very slight bend in the stem. IMO it's that stem bend that makes or breaks a sexy looking Prince.

 

fishnbanjo

Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2013
3,032
6
I have a few and love them all but this is my favorite by the late Sixten Ivarsson.

banjo


 

jguss

Preferred Member
Jul 7, 2013
708
73
That's an amazing pipe, fish. I'd give my eyeteeth for it. Not that that would be a very appetizing trade from your perspective. The blast, the bamboo, everything about it has character. It's weathered, classic, and classy.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,680
1,058
Here's my favorite, the Savinelli Oscar Lucite 315 KS. The color combination, briar stain and stem color, might not be my first choice, but the size pipe and width of chamber, weight, and balance are pretty much ideal, so much so that despite my profligate pipe buying, I've not bought another. When I need a prince for its special characteristic, this one does the job.
http://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/savinelli/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=192989

 

kola

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2014
595
4
Great choice! I love Sav's 313 and the larger 315KS. The 315XL is a bit too large IMO

 
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