I have one in my collection also. When I got mine I went to Professor Taylor to get more information.
Everything you would ever want to know about "The Pipe" and "The Smoke" is here: The Pipe Info Link
To me they are an interesting footnote in pipe manufacturing and therefor somewhat collectable.
These Pipes were made from 1963 to about 1975. They were made from the same material as the Space shuttle, pyrolytic graphite. I knew a man that would smoke nothing but one of these. The best thing about them,is they could be washed in the Dish washer.
Thefalcon, I think you are correct I just did the initial sanding to take off the color and it looks like to me is graphite. I will wet sand with 1500 to see if it will shine. If so I may leave it like that.
@dulgunz, I believe the early ones were Painted, but after heating up the Paint would fleck off. I believe after the painted ones they incorporated in the manufacturing a process of plastic coating. Hope this helps.
spartanfan, I did listen to that show and felt some relief of my remorse for having purchased/won a The Pipe on the auction site.
These pipes do have nice draw and lines. That they're not 'organic' turns a lot of us off, but they can deliver a very nice smoke if you know what you're doing, and they don't impart flavor, thus giving you an unadulterated 'look' at your particular blend.
They're tough as nails and make nice travel pipes. If you need a hammer, they'll do in a pinch.
These are as versatile and practical as is your imagination.
That they're not 'organic' turns a lot of us off, but they can deliver a very nice smoke if you know what you're doing, and they don't impart flavor, thus giving you an unadulterated 'look' at your particular blend.
newbroom, sounds like you hit on a good reason to pick one up.