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Ben Wade by Preben Holm

(46 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by cigrmaster
  • Latest reply from mso489
  1. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    Does anyone know anything about these pipes that were made by Holm? I am looking at one that is beautiful but the only thing I know about Holm is that he trained Winslow. The one I am looking at was hand made in Denmark and is not the new English made ones. Any help would be appreciated.

    Harris
    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. lonestar

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    Preben Holm was an absolute master and pioneer. I've smoked several of his pipes, and while there were a wide range of grades made, every one has been a very good smoking pipe.

    -Ryan Alden
    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. puffy

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    I had a couple of freehands many years ago.I let a friend trade me out of them.As I remember they were good smokers.

    Life's most valuable treasure is..Love
    Posted 6 years ago #
  4. cortezattic

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    Holm is generally credited with the modern Danish free hand movement that "broke away" from the traditional English shapes. It was essentially a "follow the grain" philosophy of pipe shaping. Holm was involved in a distribution deal with a company called Snug Harbor, and I believe it called for his name to be stamped on the pipes. When he stopped doing business with them and took up with Lane Ltd., he felt he could no longer put his name on the new line of pipes for fear of, in effect, competing with himself. Lane owned the Ben Wade name and allowed Holm to market his new line under that name. That's about all I can recall from memory, but there are a few articles on line if you search for them. His Ben Wade era pipes are considered quite collectible. There were other brand names that he used, and some sound pretty hokie: Danish Pride, Harcourt, Monte Verdi, Pipe Lon, Wengholt; but they're genuine Preben Holms none-the-less.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 6 years ago #
  5. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    Thanks guys, here is the pipe I have my eye on.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  6. oldredbeard

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    What a beautiful!!!

    I'm not complaining.
    Posted 6 years ago #
  7. keith929

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    I own one similar to that. It is an excellent smoker and I've had it for 20+ years.

    A smart man learns from the mistakes of others.
    A wise man learns from his own.
    ---Anonymous
    Posted 6 years ago #
  8. mlaug

    mlaug

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    Is that a Prominence?

    I have around 60 Ben Wade/Preben Holm pipes.

    "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." - Claire Wolfe
    Posted 6 years ago #
  9. lordnoble

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    So are the pipes that were made by by Preben Holm under the Ben Wade name labeled as such? If not, how do you know if it's a Preben Holm?

    -Jason

    The preceding statement is not to be construed as fact, but merely conjecture.

    Proud member of the BlackBlood Society
    Posted 6 years ago #
  10. mlaug

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    They are not.

    There isn't any way to tell who the carver was. He was "supervising" the production and he taught a lot of the best Danish carvers, but no way to know if an individual pipe was made by him.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  11. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    mlaug, I don't know if it is a prominence, does that mean it is special if it is.

    lordnoble, from what I have researched all the Ben Wade pipes marked made in Denmark are Preben Holm made pipes.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  12. mlaug

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    I was just guessing...it has that shape. Holm marketed a bunch of different lines...all with different names (see Cortez's post).

    My experience is that some of the pipes are good smokers and some are not. Typically, they will have wide, deep bowls that hold a lot of tobacco. Most are on the heavy side if you are a confirmed clencher.

    Sometimes they have a generous draw and other times they won't pass a cleaner without noodling it around a bit.

    I have one that smokes wet and gurgles like an aquarium bubbler.

    They were pumping out a lot of pipes at the peak of the freehand/Danish revolution and I think the QC got away from him at somepoint.

    I think they are beautiful. The grain, stain, shapes....I don't know why, but I love 'em all.

    My first expensive pipe was a Golden Walnut I bought in 1977. I never looked at other pipe makers very seriously ever since that first Ben Wade.

    I see I may not have answered ol' Noble's question, but yes, the key to getting a Holm era pipe is the "Made In Denmark" stamp.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  13. lordnoble

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    the key to getting a Holm era pipe is the "Made In Denmark" stamp.

    That was what I was hoping for; an easy way to figure out if it's a Preben Holm (supervised) pipe. Mine isn't but hey, that's why I asked. Thanks for the history lesson!

    -Jason

    Posted 6 years ago #
  14. lonestar

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    Thats a beautiful pipe for sure !
    Mlaug, thats some serious brand loyalty Sir !

    Posted 6 years ago #
  15. fnord

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    One of the owners of my local B&M gets downright misty eyed when he talks about Preben Holm. Apparently they were pretty close friends: calls, letters, visits at trade shows and they even vacationed together. The owner also possesses one of the most beautiful free-form carvings I've ever laid eyes on that was a gift from Holm. (The next time I drop by for some tobacco I'll take my camera and post some pixs.)

    From everything I've heard and read Preben literally drank himself to death. He always enjoyed his adult beverages but, after his wife bolted with the kids, I guess he would've made Nic Cage in "Leaving Las Vegas" and Mickey Rourke in "Barfly" look like pussies and those two performances were about cats who were absolute degenerates around a bottle.

    Here's a good piece on Holm over at Pipedia: http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=Preben_Holm Preben wrote the lion's share of it and he certainly doesn't address his own demons.

    I'll never spend the jack for one of his hand carved pieces but a Denmark stamped Ben Wade will be a worthwhile birthday present to the man I love. Mlaug, do you have a non-gurgler you could spare and sell me for my 55th anniversary? I won't quibble over the price either. (It's either affordable or not.)

    BTW, that's a damned fine looking piece of wood, Cigrmaster, and I hope you'll soon own it.

    Cheers.

    Fnord

    It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says - like dumb - I'm smart and I want respect!
    Fredo Corleone
    Posted 6 years ago #
  16. cigrmaster

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    I am not so sure I am going to buy this now. It sounds like he managed a factory where some pipes were great and others not so. I did not realize he did not do the carving himself and that there is a good chance the one I am looking at could be carved by anyone who worked there. Yes it is a beautiful pipe, but I think there is a reason it is going for only 130.00.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  17. mlaug

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    I won't try to talk anyone into buying a pipe. Ever. But there are a few things to consider. The "anyone who worked there" could be the likes of Poul Winslow, Hansen and Noltensmeier (who went on to take over S.Bang), Per Hansen, Bo Nordh, or Karl Erik. These names are giants in the pipe carver world. Anyone that collected pipes in the 1970s knows what kind of power the new Danish inspired freehands had over the pipe market. Almost every other brand started making their own freehand versions in the Danish style. These guys were on the cutting edge of a new way to interpret design and artistry in pipe making.

    Almost all manufacturers make pipes that are hit and miss in engineering. That is a fact of mass production. His earlier pipes under the PH label are most assuredly his own creations. How much oversite he had over individual pipes made under the Ben Wade label is something that isn't known, as far as I know. The names I listed previously aren't exactly known today as second rate carvers.

    The style has fallen out of favor, but for those of us who were following the Danish revolution it was an exciting time and I wonder (beside the singular beauty of the designs) that my attraction isn't a form of nostalgia for that time in my life? I dunno. I'm not that deep.

    Here is a pretty fair history. Its interesting to me how closely tied many of these people were to each other, either by location or employment.

    http://www.finepipes.com/articles/danish-pipes.html

    It was a fun time to be buying pipes.

    Except for that disco thing going on, but I tried to ignore most of that.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  18. cigrmaster

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    mlaug, thanks for all the info. The reason I even looked at one of these was because I knew Winslow worked there and he is one of my favorites. I decided to go in a different direction and support one of our guys by buying a Rad Davis. I have admired his work and it was time for me to buy an American pipe for the first time. I do like the history of Preben Holm and maybe one day I will grab one.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  19. lazydog

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    I have a PHolm coming ( tomorrow), Stamped preben holn, hand made in copenhagen denmark, and it does have a circle with I believe a grade inside, which I can't make out in fotos. Anyway, it prob. is a lower grade since it is rusticated, but thought Id pick it up for $40 buckaroos also has his signature I believe. Should be an interesting pipe. Also have a Monte Verdi golden tan which I think is a P Holm 2nd. Love it,

    Posted 6 years ago #
  20. tbradsim1

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    Ben Wade Freehand, made in denmark Beautiful smoker The old cajun

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 6 years ago #
  21. photoman13

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    Wow that's killer cajun. You seem to like your pipes big!

    Posted 6 years ago #
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    Obviously, some folks who posted here have a great deal more interest and knowledge re: Preben Holm pipes, while there's no doubt of his prestigious talent and (leading edge in his time) artistic creations, the freestyles just aren't my thing and never have been. Oh well. One thing I do remember about his work though -- if you're seriously looking about buying one, make sure you know exactly what you're getting as well as your prices.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  23. tbradsim1

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    while traditional shapes are more my style this was an unsmoked estate and i could not pass it up i have several Winslows and they are good smokers, this one is very good, good draw smokes cool The old cajun

    Posted 6 years ago #
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    I like it Old Cajun and looks to me the Hobo likes it also!!!!!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  25. rigmedic1

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    I was really into free hands back in the 80's. These came from Preben Holms' shop:
    Ben Wade Regent:

    Rungstedt Seafarer:

    Jobey Danske:

    Posted 6 years ago #
  26. papipeguy

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    Here are my two, which I do believe were made by Mr. Holm. He passed away in 1989 and my pipes are from the mid-1970's.

    Ben Wades

    Blowin' smoke since 1970.
    Posted 6 years ago #
  27. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    Cool pics guys, thanks for sharing. Everyone of those must be incredible smokers. I don't know how you could ever heat one up with those thick walls. Are they real heavy or are they lighter than they look?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  28. tbradsim1

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    Harris that Ben Wade is a large pipe but I think it is not heavier than my large winslow, I am really happy with mine.I love the good info here on this forum by the folks, helps you make a good decision. The old cajun

    Posted 6 years ago #
  29. rigmedic1

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    My Ben Wade is very heavy. Definitely not a clencher, heh heh. The Jobey is fairly light for its size. Both the Ben Wade and the Rungstedt have huge bowls, and will go for over 90 minutes with ease. The bowls on all of these barely get warm in hand.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  30. mlaug

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    I'm not a clencher, so pipe weight was never a consideration for me. I love them for the beauty of the grain, the finishing styles, and the flow of the freehand shapes they produced.

    My Unicorn Sable from new sponsor Dave Neeb arrived is yesterday's post. Its beautiful and is smoking like a dream.

    cajun- Beautiful pipe.

    papipeguy- A Golden Walnut and a Danish Pride?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  31. tbradsim1

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    McLaug thank you, and thank you for all the good info on Ben Wades, if I remember right you are the farmer, big equip is on my farm soon to cut the sugar cane. The old cajun

    Posted 6 years ago #
  32. mlaug

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    I don't know a thing about cane cutting.

    Where is the processor located at from where you live? I was wondering how far the cut cane has to get hauled.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  33. tbradsim1

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    Refinery is 30miles from my farm 18 wheelers haul the cut cane, approx 2ft stalks after cutter gets thru with them, used to cut whole stalks, they burn the fields before cutting to get rid of leaves and trash,the cutter looks like a praying mantis, 2 worm screws at a 45% in front pull cane in cutters, with wagons running alongside spitting cane in wagons, 2 years ago it was so muddy, 2 tractors chained back to back pushing mud like a tidal wave, hard year. The old cajun

    Posted 6 years ago #
  34. mlaug

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    Cash rent?

    What is land renting for in your area? Here in my part of Iowa rent runs $450-475/acre.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  35. papipeguy

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    My 2 Wades are not heavy at all and they smoke fairly cool. I should smoke them more.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  36. cajunguy

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    I've owned a number of Wades (Gold Walnuts and a Tawny), and all were fantastic smokers. All the ones I ownered were Danish manufactured, so I can't speak about Wades of other origin. Unfortunately, most were far too big for my jaw strength to handle. Pipeguy is right--most are very light--but they tend to be long, and sometimes the mechanical disadvantage on the jaw can be a burden.

    But to anyone thinking of purchasing one, I highly recommend them. They are truly fine smokers.

    "It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black." - Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap
    Posted 6 years ago #
  37. pappymac

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    Love unearthing discussions long dead.
    I hit the motherlode last summer when I walked into a junk shop in Mississippi that had a Ben Wade Martinique, Ben Wade Royal Grain and a Preben Holm Delight. I cleaned and restored them and they are all very good smokers. In fact, they are all three at the front of my rotation and get smoked weekly.
    The one on the left is the Ben Wade Martinique, the one on the right is the Ben Wade Royal Grain.

    This is the Preben Holm Delight.

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 5 months ago #
  38. User has not uploaded an avatar

    instymp

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    Nice Pappy!

    Posted 5 months ago #
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    panamacharlie

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    Once again here are the two Preben Holmes that I bought in the 70's or early 80's. I liked the one I bought for me so well that I bought one for my dad, I reclaimed it when he passed. When I smoke one in public I never fail to get comments.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  40. chasingembers

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    My Preben Holm pieces.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 5 months ago #
  41. pappymac

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    @embers - That last photo you posted looks similar to a Soren I found last summer - at least from one side it does. The photo is from the other side.
    It's a pretty good smoker too.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  42. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Here's my Preben Holm carved Ben Wade:

    Here's one of my favorite pipes to smoke, a Preben Holm Frasortoret:

    Huge pipe, light as a feather.

    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 5 months ago #
  43. chasingembers

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    My Frasortoret.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  44. anthonyrosenthal74

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    As much as I love the look of many Preben Holm pipes, I'm astonished that I've not yet added one to my collection. I've looked at them many times over the years. Some fantastic pipes posted in this thread! Keep the photos coming!

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 5 months ago #
  45. User has not uploaded an avatar

    instymp

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    Anthony, don't buy one.
    Because you will probably buy another.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  46. mso489

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    Nording and Holm are two of the major instigators of the Danish freehand epoch, which still continues to this day. I'm not sure if they get more credit for their excellent pipes, or take blame for all the bad imitations. Johs (Mogen Johansen) does some lovely ones, and others do, but many are not so good, to put it mildly. These pictured make it clear what the original infatuation was.

    Posted 5 months ago #

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