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1911 GBD Speciale

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    mau1

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    Hello all,

    I'd appreciate any input you can give on a pipe I picked up this summer. It's a 1911 GBD Speciale. With regards to the hallmarks, the Assay Office mark for foreign silver is a U for London, followed by 925 and the London date letter q for 1911. Underneath is AO for Adolphe Oppenheimer. I know the pictures of the hallmark leave a lot to be desired and they're quite worn but I have gone over the hallmarks from different angles and lighting and am 99% sure of the marks. The real question is the carburetor. Has anyone run across a carburetor on a GBD before? Here are some pics.





    Thanks

    Mau

    ā€œI've been treating you with courtesy and respect because that's the way I choose to treat everyone. But never, ever mistake kindness with weakness.ā€
    ā€• Louise Penny, Still Life
    Posted 9 months ago #
  2. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Beautiful pipe! What is the stem material?

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 9 months ago #
  3. cosmicfolklore

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    Beautiful... does the carb open up all the way to the inside of the bowl?

    Michael
    Posted 9 months ago #
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    mau1

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    Sable, thanks, I believe the stem is vulcanite. I haven't done anything to clean up the pipe. You can see from the picture below there is a piece missing from the tenon.

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    mau1

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    Cosmic, thanks. Yes, the carb is open up all the way to the bowel. I can blow through it. IMHO the pipe hasn't been smoked that much. Perhaps the owner(s) weren't a fan of the carburetor.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  6. shaintiques

    shaintiques

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    Beautiful pipe. Should clean up well.

    I know what I need, smoke, I can't recall the last time I tasted it....Gandalf in the mines of Moria.

    "we shall have to share pipes, as good friends must at a pinch'....'I keep a treasure or two near my skin, as precious as rings to me. Here's one: my old wooden pipe. And here's another an unused one...He held up a small pipe with a wide flattened bowl, and handed it to Gimli. 'Does that settle the score between us', said Merry. 'Most noble hobbit, it leaves me deep in your debt."
    Posted 9 months ago #
  7. cosmicfolklore

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    I can't wait to see it cleaned up. I cannot imagine what a carb would add to the smoking experience. It seems like it would defeat itself on each draw made without the carb covered.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  8. crashthegrey

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    I have a Kaywoodie carb. It was a novelty. It is not a good smoke. If you don't run a paperclip or wire through the carb it clogs and then the pipe works better, but you get quite the dottle around the metal in the bowl from the carb.

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    mau1

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    Cosmic, I pulled this from Briarfiles.blogspot.com

    The idea is that when drawing on the pipe, "cool" air is also drawn through the carburetor hole to mix with the "hot" air coming from the top of the pipe, thus providing a "cooler, drier smoke".

    Cosmic, I'm a bit of a procrastinator (some would say a HUGE procrastinator) but I will post pictures when the pipe is cleaned up.

    If anyone knows a top-shelf guy to refurbish the pipe in Canada I would appreciate a PM. I have a fellow but I would like to have options. Thanks!

    Posted 9 months ago #
  10. crashthegrey

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    Spoiler alert: the cool air does not draw in through the tiny little carb with such an open draw from the top of the chamber available.

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    mau1

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    Crash, that makes sense. Probably why this design feature has faded into the pages of history. But it does make it interesting.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  12. crashthegrey

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    Oh absolutely. Note that I own that Kaywoodie. It is not going anywhere. It is a cool piece of history and I smoke it from time to time. But it will never make the regular rotation.

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    mau1

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    That's what I like about some of these pipes. If I'm right, this one is 107 years old; imagine what it was like back then. Unfortunately I have virtually no information about the pipe other than the previous owner bought it as a prop for a costume party. I got it for $25 CDN. Oh, and at the same time I picked up a Hudson Bay blanket, another item that has it's place in history.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  14. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    You got a steal deal. If it is 1911, that would certainly be the earliest pipe I've heard of with a carburetor. Unfortunately, the material I have on GBD is for the English production and only as far back as 1938, so way too late to be useful.

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    mau1

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    I know, gotta love it when you stumble onto a bargain. Now you touched on the one thing that might prove my date of 1911 incorrect; the carburetor. Did they make them that early? I wondered about that. And now I'm wondering about the date of 1911. The London date letter for both 1911 and 1931 are lowercase q. And they are very close in design. And the stamping is no longer crisp but worn. I've read what I could about GBD but it seems to focus on the British made pipes more than the pipes from the French factories. Do we have an expert on all GBD pipes on Pipesmagazine? Here's a picture of a pipe that has very similar hallmarks to mine. The shape of the date letter is like mine. Either way, it's an interesting mystery.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  16. dmcmtk

    dmcmtk

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    In the picture of hallmarks above with the p, I'm going to say 1910. I know I've seem that mark on the left before, I just can't remember where...

    Dave
    Duke Street Irregular
    Posted 9 months ago #
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    mau1

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    You are correct Dave. The U is the symbol for London silver import mark:

    http://www.silvercollection.it/dictionaryimportmarksUK.html

    I pulled the picture of the 1910 hallmark from here:

    http://www.silvercollection.it/DICTIONARYTOBACCONISTA.html

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    jguss

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    The carburetor question is a good one and Iā€™m not sure of the answer. I can tell you that the GBD Speciale dates from no later than 1906, so that part is consistent with the historical record

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    mau1

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    I used the following for the London date letter. The q on the hallmark looks fatter like the 1911 rather than the skinnier 1931.

    http://www.silvercollection.it/englishsilverhallmarks.html

    But it comes down to the carburetor. This may be unanswered until some future date when more information is discovered.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  20. snagstangl

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    The 1921 civic catalog has a line of pipe's called Steel's that all have carbs in them like this GBD. So they were in the market at that time.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  21. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Curiouser and curiouser. I agree with the 1910 year date. BTW, 1930 was Old English, not block. The import stamp makes sense as the pipe is clearly French.

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    jguss

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    Interesting that there's no patent number stamp.

    The carburetor cited by snag (great catch!) that appears in the 1921 Civic catalog was embedded in a pipe named for the inventor: John Walker Steel (1872-1933) of Durham, England. Steel's patent application for the carburetor (https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?CC=GB&NR=191308384A&KC=A&FT=D&ND=4&date=19140226&DB=EPODOC&locale=en_EP) was dated April 9, 1913, and accepted by the UK patent office on February 26, 1914. Patent protection was extended to France not long thereafter. Interestingly there are no references in the application to prior art; whether that means none existed (at least under patent), or that precedents were simply omitted is unclear. In any case Steel's patent proves that the carburetor was developed and used in pipes by 1913, and it may well have had predecessors, with or without patent protection.

    I'll note in passing that the merger which eventually brought Civic and GBD together was years in the future at the time mau's pipe was made, so it seems improbable that the two companies were sharing technology.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  23. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Well, maybe the carburetor was added later. Maybe a later owner loved his Yello-Boles and decided to modernize this old French pipe. One of the tings I've learned when dealing with these old pipes is that there are a lot of surprises and "original" condition is sometimes questionable.

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    mau1

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    Snag and Guss, thanks for that great research! You've now proven that carburetors were present in 1913. I feel this is an original pipe from 1911 with an original carburetor. To Sable's point, if anyone else has a pipe with a carburetor, it would be interesting to see and compare the carburetors; later carburetors might be distinctly different. I recall reading somewhere about carbs with screws. Differing carburetor designs and differing placement of the carbs on the bowel might allow for multiple patents but I a have very limited knowledge on what the patent office would allow in that regard. Thanks everyone for your input and helping to shed some light on this subject.
    Regards,
    Mau

    Posted 9 months ago #
  25. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Spoiler alert: the cool air does not draw in through the tiny little carb with such an open draw from the top of the chamber available.

    What does the carb. do? At least in theory? Could it have been a scupper for really soggy bottoms?

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 9 months ago #
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    mau1

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    I pulled this from Briarfiles.blogspot.com

    The idea is that when drawing on the pipe, "cool" air is also drawn through the carburetor hole to mix with the "hot" air coming from the top of the pipe, thus providing a "cooler, drier smoke". That's the theory anyway.

    Posted 9 months ago #

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