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James Upshall Pipes - a Discussion

(320 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by tarheel1
  • Latest reply from sablebrush52
  1. ssjones

    ssjones

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    Those are beautiful Ted! It's great to see some long-time James Upshall collectors join this thread.

    Perhaps Ken can shed some light on this one, stamped "Connoisseur" and numbered. I can't find any reference to this stamp.


    Al

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. kenbarnes

    kenbarnes

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    Hi Ted, thank you for your kind words.
    What a lovely canted Billiard! - I really like this shape and with some really fine grain too.
    This pipe was definitely made by Barry Jones and it looks like he personally took this pipe through each stage.It has some really great lines.
    I am not familiar with this limited edition which indicates that it is post 1989.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. orlandofurioso

    orlandofurioso

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    Hi Ted ,

    Welcome back to the forums, this is a wonderful canted billiard indeed.
    Reminds me of the ones I think Barry Jones carved for Charatan in the older days.

    Greetings to you all, may the force be with you.

    Roland

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    fabioptrn

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    My friend has a very similar Charatan Executive (the stem is not original, it is made by Mauro Gilli, a famous Italian repairer).

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    fabioptrn

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    I am currently courting this Upshall P, it is from a friend but it is too big for he. I do not like buying smoked pipes, but if the inside of the bowl will be without burns under the crust, I think I will buy it. Unfortunately, the JU logo on the stem is now deleted. I believe there is not even a chance to reprint it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. kenbarnes

    kenbarnes

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    What a lovely Charatan Executive Fabioptrn. This is the first Charatan that I have seen fitted with a Cumberland mouthpiece!!!
    The James Upshall P grade looks like a very early one - nice shape & nice grain.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    fabioptrn

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    Very nice with cumberland, my friend has a good eye. Then Mauro Gilli is a really good worker, certainly the best we have here in Italy. If it came out with that original stem it would have been fantastic.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    fabioptrn

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    Here is my new Upshall, a grade P.
    Unfortunately, the JU mold on the stem is now deleted (and I do not think anyone has the stamps to do it again). On the shank the word "James Upshall" is slightly worn.
    I took a friend's pipe for a few euros, it's a little smoked and the inside of the bowl has no burns.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. kenbarnes

    kenbarnes

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    Here is my new Upshall, a grade P

    This is, in my opinion, a very early piece - I would say 1979 - 1980. I think the stamp mark has been 'pressed into the shank by hand'. This was before we got the stamping machine from Sasieni in 1980-81. The machine would press them with more pressure, making the stamp deeper.
    The finish looks good and the pipe well-looked after. Nice pipe!

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    fabioptrn

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    Yes, I'm trying to acquire only Upshall from the first period, at most only as long as you and Barry Jones worked together.
    I remember that you explained to me that the hand stamps can be more inaccurate than those engraved; I believe however that these stamps are a little canceled due to the many polishes, I think I'm the third or fourth owner.
    For the rest what to say? The wheat of the briar is not so fine to be one of the highest grades, but, like the Upshall of your period, it is devoid of imperfections and the cut is made with knowledge. For me it is always a joy to acquire one of these Upshalls.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. ssjones

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    @fabio, very nice, I want to hang out with your friends! I'm can't recall the last time I ran into someone smoking a James Upshall, at a club meeting, show, etc. (except for me!)

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    fabioptrn

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    They are some friends from Turin (Italy). Here in Turin in the '70s /' 80s there were many important tobacconists and all treated quality pipes. Today almost exclusively Bollito Pipe remained.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. jfreedy

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    Hello Ken - I'm new to this forum, but I've been reading the posts for years. In fact, I just joined today so I could ask you about my recently purchased Tilshead pipe. I would be curious to know more about it. Specifically, I'd love to know the age and if you actually helped create this one. I also noticed a small '4' near the stem which I assumed was the size. Is that what this means? Any information you can share would be great. Thank you, Ken, for sharing your amazing history and wealth of knowledge with this forum.



    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. jfreedy

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    Here are some better pics that show off the pipes grain. Great smoker too!


    Posted 1 year ago #
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    fabioptrn

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    Beautiful your Tilshead. The wheat looks very beautiful, who knows why it has not become James Upshall. Only Ken can tell us this.

    This is my new James Upshall unsmoked. It does not have the grade and as Ken has suggested some comments back, this pipe is perhaps one of the samples that Ken gave to Lubinski, here in Italy, to show their finishes to dealers.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. jfreedy

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    fabioptrn - That's a lovely Tilshead... and unsmoked?? Wow. Do you plan to smoke it?

    My Tilshead has a couple of flaws on the bottom. So even though the grain is nice it couldn't be labeled a JU without the "Tilshead" designation. It smokes great though.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    fabioptrn

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    I still do not know, I have an Upshall almost the same. Perhaps I will exchange it whit a friend for a Charatan. I still have to decide.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. jfreedy

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    Can't go wrong with a Charatan either. Both are great pipes.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. londonmake

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    Hi There;
    Here is my latest James Upshall, with a unique shape.
    In fact, I had seen this pipe before on eBay, and did not bid....glad someone put it f/s again! Now it's in my herd.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  20. londonmake

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    one more pic, from above!
    I think it has a very art deco look with those interesting bowl rings which relate to bulldogs in a funny way.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  21. craiginthecorn

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    That one is unusual both in the shape and the dark color. I'm guessing that pipe was smoked quite a bit to get that dark.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  22. kenbarnes

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    What a very, very unusual Upshall. I think that this is the only 'double beaded' pipe that we made up until 1989.
    I think that, whilst the James Upshall name has been engraved on the shank, it looks like the JU logo on the mouthpiece has been hand-pressed with the JU stamp - is that correct? If so, it dates the pipe to around late 1982.When we started engraving the shanks, we did not think to try engraving the logo too - that came 6 months or so later.
    Yes, it has been well-loved. The lightish walnut stain has darkened over the past 35 years.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  23. londonmake

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    Thank you Ken for the informative and interesting feedback. 1982!
    I've spent last fews days getting to know ['double beaded' ]. It was carefully smoked, chamber is great condition, rim clean, only one small toothmark under the stem button to speak of. Smoked dry and cool, cleaner pass right to the heel..

    Yes, I see -- there is a difference bwtn the engraved shank nomenclature vs the not-engraved stamped JU logo. I have other JU examples that confirm yes later pipes have both engraved... another way to date James Upshall pipes! Thanks!

    Posted 10 months ago #
  24. londonmake

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    Actually, Ken, I've taken a closer look at the JU logo on this pipe. This logo I now think is engraved, too, NOT stamped. I'm afraid the dating should be adjusted?

    The lighting in the photo probably made it look softer vs the sharpness of engraving.
    Under a printer's loupe, I can see a crisper cut to the letters, whereas on another pipe, the JU letters appear softer and have rounder corners----and are larger too.

    I wonder, are the engraved JUs smaller overall vs the stamped older examples we see every so often?

    Posted 10 months ago #
  25. raevans

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    After reading this thread and the thread on Dunhill Briar quality, I must say that I have a new appreciation for James Upshall pipes. When I first picked up the pipe, back in the mid 90's, most of the Upshall pipes that I saw looked to "Chunky" for my taste. The briar was outstanding, but just something about the bowl/stem relation that didn't look right. Now seeing some of the pictures posted in this thread, and I am completely blown away. I do have a couple of questions that hopefully one of the "experts" can answer. First, when did the red logo come into play and is there a story behind it and second, who did the sandblasting for James Upshall when they first started to turn out blasts? Any light that can be shed would be greatly appreciated.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  26. kenbarnes

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    Upshall started making 'carved' pipes ie not smooth in 1987. Our US agents had such a demand for these that we started doing them. I think it was Ser Jacopo that showed us the tools they used.
    Barry told me that the sandblasted pipes were done by Bill Taylor (Ashton). Apparently Bill offered to do them and then took so long completing the orders that it was not really effective.
    The JU logo in red was something Barry came up with after 1989. As all the logos are coloured in using crayola wax, he simply took another colour out of the box I suppose - sometimes these ideas came from a particular distributor in this case possibly Italy.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  27. raevans

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    Thank you so much for the sharing a behind the scenes look into the pipe making world. I had to laugh about Bill Taylor taking too long. Bill was a great guy but anyone who knew him could tell you that speed was not part of his forte.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  28. fishingandpipes

    fishingandpipes

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    Got a new one, not sure if Ken is still around but I’d love his take! A P grade.

    That sitter Dublin Ken has for sale almost made me break, I’d love to own one of his pipes some day.

    Smoking this one now and it’s fantastic.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  29. fishingandpipes

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    I also have a huuuuge bent billiard P I should post one day. It’s so big that it’ll like part with it, but it’s nice.

    Posted 2 months ago #
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    Alex

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    I've been trying to acquire an Upshall, but Mrs. Karen Ezrati has been so inconsistent in her replies to a degree that made me give up on the idea of buying from her. Can anyone recommend a different Upshall seller, preferrably unsmoked ones?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  31. ssjones

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    @alexj52, just the regular, trusted usual suspects (Briar Blues, Mkelaw Pipes, etc.) There's no other Upshall specific reseller.

    Posted 2 months ago #
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    paulfg

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    just to update a couple of recent aquisitions
    a P grade apple? unsmoked stamped size 4

    a P grade bent billiard size 5

    and an S grade unsmoked

    Posted 1 week ago #
  33. kenbarnes

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    What a lovely 'P' grade Apple shape and with some fine grain. This one was made after 1989 as a size no. was only added after I had left the firm. The 'S' grade looks much earlier. If the leather bag came with this one (nice soft lambskin!), the date of this pipe would be around 1984. Great acquisitions!

    Posted 1 week ago #
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    paulfg

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    thanks for you input Ken,the seller of the S grade is not a pipe person (he lists mainly lighters) but stated he thought pre 1990.I have been lucky to find them unsmoked.It has no size marking
    I also have this on marked P grade EX it has cleaned up well,only tar on the rim no scorching and like all of them smokes wonderfully

    Posted 1 week ago #
  35. hauntedmyst

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    Hi Ken,

    I wonder if you remember Diana from the Up Down Tobacco Shop in Chicago? She was the president of the RTDA for a bit and a huge fan of Upshall pipes. She used to stock them pretty deeply (had a least the best selection in Chicago). She was my pipe mentor and I had the joy of knowing her for 30 years or so. Luckily, I worked for her for years and was/am a fan of Upshall's. I bought nearly every large Billiard she had and still have them proudly in my collection. No matter what happens (I haven't read the whole thread), it's been one of England's grandest pipe houses!

    A tattoo on a beautiful woman is like graffiti on a Ferrari.
    Posted 1 week ago #
  36. kenbarnes

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    I wonder if you remember Diana from the Up Down Tobacco Shop in Chicago?

    Hello hauntedmyst.

    Yes I do remember Diana. She had as much passion for pipes as I do - such fond memories.
    I have taken a photo of a photo of Diana when she was visiting the Tilshead Pipe Co / Upshall in 1984.
    In this photo I am showing her how I cut plateau briar on the saw.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  37. hauntedmyst

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    That's awesome! Thank you for sharing that. You mentioned you were making pipes. Are you selling them? Do you have a website?

    Posted 1 week ago #
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    davidintexas

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    Hauntedmyst, wow. I remember your avatar from several years ago, 6 to be exact? Quite unique, and funny. Ken sells some of his work on the Scandpipes website. It lists several makers so just look for Ken Barnes. Also, if interested this same forum of "British Pipes" has a thread titled "Ken Barnes Returns To Finding The Grain, about 22 lines down, in case you haven't seen it yet. Very enjoyable read and some pictures of his recent work

    Posted 1 week ago #
  39. hauntedmyst

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    Thanks David! Heading over there now.

    Posted 2 days ago #
  40. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Thanks David! Heading over there now.

    Ken's a member here, so you can contact him directly, or I can send you his email contact info if you prefer.

    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 2 days ago #

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