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The NPod Castello Opera 44 Collection

(57 posts)
  1. npod

    npod

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    It’s been a long and winding road. The Castello Opera 44 collection is finally complete. But NEVER finished! Still some rare pipes to chase. The collection finally meets standards to present at shows.

    ———————————————-

    Sea Rock - standard

    Sea Rock - diamond

    Sea Rock - Red

    Sea Rock - Virgin

    Sea Rock - Pi Rustication

    Old Sea Rock

    Old Antiquari- Black
    https://i.imgur.com/cGJJgys.jpg

    Old Antiquari- Brown

    Trademark

    Castello - Light

    Castello - Pi Rustication

    Collection

    Collection - Large With Silver Band

    Collection Fiammata

    Occhio di Pernice

    Aristocratica

    Le Dune - Standard

    Le Dune - Large

    Perla Nera - Original Tapered Stem

    Perla Nera - Modern Standard

    Flame - Original of 12 Flame Pipes (Super Rare)

    Neal
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  2. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    Stunning, stunning, stunning!!!

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  3. scloyd

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    Wow! Very nice. Thanks for posting.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  4. alaskanpiper

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    Saw that on instagram. Totally amazing sir.

    "We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us." ---Hank

    "Yeah, well, you know that's just like, uh, your opinion, man..." --- The Dude
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  5. timt

    timt

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    Holy cow.

    Tim
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  6. npod

    npod

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    Old Antiquiri - Black (didn't show above)

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  7. npod

    npod

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    Artsy Shot

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  8. npod

    npod

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    Travel pipes and gear: Why I love Opera 44 pipes.
    -
    The oval shaped bowls fit perfectly in my large Dunhill 5-pipe carry case. In fact they fit perfectly in any case. I don’t have to think about which pipes to bring. They just work in any situation. And a perfect 30/45 minute smoke, which is about all you need when traveling. Examples of my Dunhill travel case with 4 Opera 44 pipes. This is my go-to travel setup.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  9. hoosierpipeguy

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    Off the charts gorgeous! Very impressive. Congratulations to see a culmination to your efforts Neil.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  10. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    Outstanding :clap:

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  11. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Bravo!

    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 weeks ago #
  12. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Terrific, I could not believe my eyes,this truly shows a real passion for certain brand yet shape.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  13. autumnfog

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    Inspirational, thanks for sharing thoughts and photos!

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  14. kcghost

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    Man, that's a lot of greenbacks tied up in a single shape. Beautiful collection.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  15. voorhees

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    Very nice Neal!

    Jason
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  16. james72

    james72

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    Awesome!

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  17. daveinlax

    daveinlax

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    Awesome photos of a great looking collection. Love that Flame! I wish I had photos of the others in that series.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  18. jcsoldit

    JC

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    Absolutely beautiful collection.

    As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  19. spartacus

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    Over the top! Absolutely beautiful!

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  20. cortezattic

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    Most impressive! Thanks so much for all the pix!

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  21. craiginthecorn

    craiginthecorn

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    Gorgeous collection, Neal! I don't normally love the Aristocratica finish, but my Goodness, that one is a stunner. I've been getting together once a week to smoke with a fellow who collects Castellos and I'm learning to appreciate them even more. I saw my first Le Dune -- a shape 93. It's remarkable work. Very handsome.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  22. cigrmaster

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    That is some of the best pipe porn I have ever witnessed. I needed a cigarette after viewing it all.

    Harris
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  23. jpmcwjr

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    Holy Cow! That's gorgeous, both the collection and the photos thereof. (A couple of duplicates, no?- At least it looks that way to my eye, but maybe they're the same pipe but classified in two categories?)

    Thanks for posting, Neal.

    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 2 weeks ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Neal, the first 44’s I ever saw were Perla Nera’s with factory silver bands. In fact, for the longest time, I never saw a Perla Nera in any other shape, nor a 44 in any other finish. You need to find one of those before your set is complete.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  25. shaneireland

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    This is amazing Neal! Not only because of the quality of the pieces represented, but because of the discipline and thoughtfulness behind this collection. You're an inspiration to the collector in all of us...

    ...and it would seem that I've got a lot of work to do on my collection of Castello's shape #23

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  26. npod

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    Here they are in natural light.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  27. npod

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    This is amazing Neal! Not only because of the quality of the pieces represented, but because of the discipline and thoughtfulness behind this collection. You're an inspiration to the collector in all of us...

    Thank you, Shane! You and Kaz have been a huge resource in my journey.

    Neal, the first 44’s I ever saw were Perla Nera’s with factory silver bands. In fact, for the longest time, I never saw a Perla Nera in any other shape, nor a 44 in any other finish. You need to find one of those before your set is complete.

    Like I said, the collection will never be "finished". There are pipes still on the list. And I did a write up on the Perla Nera Opera 44 a while back. Marco taught me a bunch about the history. In short, the Perla Nera stain was only used on Opera 44 pipes until the 90s, and all Opera 44s were Perla Nera until then. That Opera 44 with the tapered stem above is an N1 stamped original Opera 44 Perla Nera, those came before the silver bands.

    I needed a cigarette after viewing it all.

    Harris, tobacco is bad for you!

    (A couple of duplicates, no?

    No duplicates. Two of the smooth pipes look similar and there is also a smooth Pi that looks like the Collection grade pipe. Believe me it was a challenge to double check and make sure I got the pictures right.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  28. jfred

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    I'm lost for words. That is a mind blowing collection. In fact, I think I will stop calling mine a collection for now…

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  29. clickklick

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    Fantastic. That shape is also one that shows the la dune finish nicely. That flame is a show stealer though!

    Hobbyist Pipemaker - Carmette Pipes
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  30. tnfan

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    What a sensational collection! Beautiful!

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  31. npod

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    Here is a selfie of my first Opera 44 pipe, years ago. This was from Pfeifen Huber in Munich, Germany. It was a lonely trip, but this pipe made it special. The rest is history.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  32. dcon

    dcon

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    Simply Wonderful!

    Duane
    (Not Embers)
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  33. ssjones

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    Bravo indeed! I love a collecting focus like that. The Old Antiquari- Brown is my favorite!

    Al

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  34. litup

    litup

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    I blame you personally for lighting the Castello collecting fire that now burns in my heart.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  35. prndl

    prndl

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    I admire your O.C.D.

    Home is the sailor, home from sea,
    And the hunter home from the hill.
    Posted 1 week ago #
  36. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    Neal, now that you have shown us your Castello collection, how about other collections. I cannot believe you only have one. Let's see more porn.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  37. npod

    npod

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    Harris, your wish is my command. Over the past year I have focused my pipe collection and sold/traded many pipes. I now try very hard to collect 7-day sets and avoid spontaneous PAD.

    Stay Tuned...

    Posted 1 week ago #
  38. cigrmaster

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    Neal, I am psyched you have more collections to show us.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  39. newbroom

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    Le Dune's are my favorites of your smokers. I've not seen such a distinctive blast or rendition since maybe a Cooke or a pipe by Lee Von Erk. or a Walt Cannoy suede 'blast'.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  40. User has not uploaded an avatar

    oldgeezersmoker

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    . That Opera 44 with the tapered stem above is an N1 stamped original Opera 44 Perla Nera, those came before the silver bands.

    That is very interesting. I remember in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s seeing one from Bob Hamlin with the silver band when he was still flying the grey market flag with Old Virginia Tobacco Company. I wanted it desperately, but he had promised to give someone else first dibs. They took it. By the time he brought in another one, I was more interested in other Castellos and less inclined to pay for silver. They were quite rare in the US.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  41. npod

    npod

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    I remember in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s seeing one from Bob Hamlin with the silver band when he was still flying the grey market flag with Old Virginia Tobacco Company. I wanted it desperately, but he had promised to give someone else first dibs. They took it. By the time he brought in another one, I was more interested in other Castellos and less inclined to pay for silver. They were quite rare in the US.

    Darn it Dan!!! Now I want one! It’s never finished. Remember when I once told you “Boat”?

    Posted 1 week ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Darn it Dan!!! Now I want one! It’s never finished. Remember when I once told you “Boat”?

    Coppo’s boat? He does have a nice one, kept on Lake Como. We have all contributed, some more than others, some more recently than others.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  43. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

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    A museum grade collection Neal !! I am in awe and feeling a little envious !!

    Bravo Brother !!

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” One of the reasons behind this statement is that pipe smoking is meant to be a slow leisurely activity. It takes patience to smoke a pipe. Unlike cigarettes and cigars, there is a certain amount of technique to smoking a pipe. Where cigars and cigarettes can just be picked up, lit and puffed on, pipes require the development of a technique in order to get the best smoking experience.
    Posted 1 week ago #
  44. mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast

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    This has to be the best collection of Opera's I've ever seen... and Castello to boot. Bravo! Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 1 week ago #
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    lukasstrifeson

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    Excellent collection. My congratulations and admiration for your efforts!

    @puffpuffpokerclub

    "The answers lie in the flames." - E.E. Twain
    Posted 1 week ago #
  46. disinformatique

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    @npod Neal, now that you have raised my interest in unhealthy amounts in the Opera 44, I want to say that I am a virgo and we virgins tend to obsess over new things, hobbies and stuff.

    Can you please explain the importance, difference etc etc between saddle stem 44 and taper stem 44 as 95% of your collection comprises of saddle bits. Is it an aesthetics preference or is there something deeper going on when it comes to collecting expensive pieces of wood.

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Posted 4 days ago #
  47. npod

    npod

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    Chris,

    The original Dunhill Opera pipes had tapered stems with either white or silver bands. The bowls were oval, the chamber was oval. Dark finish.

    The original Castello Opera pipes also had tapered stems with either white or silver bands, but generally white. The bowls were oval, the chamber was round.

    (Important): The original Castello Opera pipes were ALL Perla Nera finish. AND (important): ALL Perla Nera finishes were ONLY on the Opera pipes. Later, in the late 80s or early 90s the Opera pipes came in all finishes and colors and Perla Nera finish was also extended to all pipe shapes.

    Around this time the stems became almost universally (not always though, as is common with Castello) became saddle stems and the band became white (again usually, not always).

    I personally love Lovat shapes! I love saddle stems. They are comfortable. The Opera 44 is similar to a Lovat, but of course more of a pot/billiard in general. That saddle stem works well, is super easy to clench, and for a Castello it is one of their stems that are actually comfortable.

    And as said above, that oval bowl is fantastic for travel, or yes even for tucking away in an opera jacket pocket. It really fits well in cases due to the oval shape.

    Posted 4 days ago #
  48. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

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    Neal, thanks for the detailed reply. I also tend to like pots and lovats, ultimately liking the saddle stem. I honestly think the 44 loses its Castello charm with a tapered stem.

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Posted 3 days ago #
  49. User has not uploaded an avatar

    oldgeezersmoker

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    Later, in the late 80s or early 90s the Opera pipes came in all finishes and colors and Perla Nera finish was also extended to all pipe shapes.

    I am reasonably certain it was the early to middish 90’s before this change was made, but that is only a minor quibble with your excellent history lesson.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  50. ophiuchus

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    What an exquisite collection!

    I'm a big fan of a focused, single(similar) shape pipe collections. I get a kick out of folks like ChasingEmbers' finding a shape like Savinelli's 904/9004 and doubling down on it. I just left the thread with donjgiles' stunning row of Sav 402s. There was a female member here (while I was an unregistered lurker) who'd gathered a very attractive set of 1/4 bent apples (can't remember the make); she even managed to obtain a manufacturer's display for that shape to hold them all. My current active rotation is all one shape ...

    ... Not nearly on this scale, though. Just exceptional! Thanks for sharing this!

    Posted 3 days ago #
  51. npod

    npod

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    I am reasonably certain it was the early to middish 90’s before this change was made, but that is only a minor quibble with your excellent history lesson.

    That is true. I just gave a range to cover myself, but it was in the 90's (ish) era for sure.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  52. npod

    npod

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    And a few people have asked to see the underside of the Pi rusticated and Le Dune pipes. Here ya go.

    Posted 3 days ago #
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    lukasstrifeson

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    You, sir, need a poker. And I don't mean a pipe

    Jokes aside, stunning stunning stunning collection. Not only is it impressive; it will now serve as a priceless resource/reference for window shopping Castello finishes. I've been eyeing an "Armadillo" 55 recently but the seller unfortunately does not have an affinity for photography. I curse you and your post for potentially pushing me over the edge.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  54. pepesdad1

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    To quote Ashdigger...."Stunning, stunning, stunning!!!"

    Posted 3 days ago #
  55. alaskanpiper

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    I can't think of a single finish I admire more than the aristocratica, and yours is one of the most splendid ones I've ever seen. Super jealous!

    Posted 3 days ago #
  56. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    Neil, great pics as always. Now how about showing us your Bo Nordhs and Teddy Eagles. Don't be holding out on us, oh yeah how about those Nanna Ivarsson pipes.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  57. npod

    npod

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    Teddy Eagles. Don't be holding out on us, oh yeah how about those Nanna Ivarsson pipes.

    Harris, don’t feed the wild animals, this is a Castello thread. We wouldn’t want to offend the Italians.

    But here’s some fresh meat to satiate your request.

    Teddy Eagle

    Nanna

    Posted 3 days ago #

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