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What do You Look for in an Estate Pipe?

(23 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by hittelusedpipes
  • Latest reply from ssjones
  1. hittelusedpipes

    hittelusedpipes

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    Hi all, I am new here and I just had a few questions. I have been charged with selling my grandfather's collection of pipes that he has collected over roughly 40 or so years, and while I have started researching the subject I am still very new to smoking pipes in general, and would like some tips on what people are looking for when buying an estate pipe.

    I looked around online, and I couldn't find anything specific on the subject, and this looked like the best place to start. When you are looking for a pipe (eBay for example) are you looking for something that been restored, something with character, handcrafted, or otherwise? I have only received a few handfuls of pipes to start with, but some of them look to be in pretty bad condition (the stems especially) so I am curious as to whether or not people prefer to clean their pipes themselves, or if you actively look for pipes that have been cleaned/restored?

    What kind of information should I be including when trying to sell an estate pipe? I assume I should know the brand, and size of the pipe, but as they were not collected by me I'd be without information in regards to age. How is the "style" of the pipe determined, and how would I go about finding out the brand of unmarked pipes, or are they simple sold as "unmarked"?

    I am eager to learn more about the process involved, and about estate pipes in general, as it has been a part of my family history so any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    Contact Pipestud with a list of the names and go from there. The old cajun

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. numbersix

    numbersix

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    Welcome hittelusedpipes.

    In regards to cleaning a pipe before selling - I would recommend that you try to do that to the best of your ability. There's lots of info out there on this subject, but start with just some general cleaning (like soaking the stem in oxyclean).

    It's not imperative that they look brand-new, but the cleaner it looks, the better.

    I assume I should know the brand, and size of the pipe. How is the "style" of the pipe determined, and how would I go about finding out the brand of unmarked pipes, or are they simple sold as "unmarked"?

    Definitely include the size of the pipe and height of the bowl. Putting the style in the title can help people find you. Search "Pipe Styles" in Google to learn more. Also, you may want to learn the difference between "smooth, rusticated and sandblasted" pipes. Once again, Google can help.

    In regards to value of a particular pipe, a good place to start is to type the maker's name into Google and/or ebay and see what you find. You should be able to get an idea of its value and who the maker is.

    Lastly - try to be very upfront with the condition. If the stem is chewed up, mention it. If there's a crack in the bowl, make sure the buyer knows. This will establish trust in potential buyers and make them much more inclined to buy from you. I cannot emphasize this part enough. Reputation on ebay is everything.

    "Be seeing you"


    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. yorkshirepipe

    yorkshirepipe

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    I'm not an expert at all, but I guess that for some questions there is no right/wrong answer. It depends on people's tastes and opinions. For example, I know there are many people who prefer to clean an estate pipe themselves, as I'm a student I don't have any sanding/buffing tools so estates for me need to be in clean condition.

    Regarding to what information to give, I'd say as much as possible, I like size, honest description of condition, what material it's made from. A good picture will show the shape and style. [url=http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/index-en.html][/url] is a good site for finding what brand a pipe is. If there are no markings at all then it could be any brand, I have a couple of unbranded pipes. Hope this helps a little!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. hittelusedpipes

    hittelusedpipes

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    Thanks for the feedback guys!

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    flmason

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    If you can find out information on each pipe you might post them for sale at http://www.briarbid.com

    This website is owned and operated by the owner of this forum. The fees are less than Ebay.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. bvbriar

    bvbriar

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    Despite there being a tremendous amount of information available on how to clean estate pipes yourself, my position would be more conservative. I would discourage you from doing more than just wiping them down with a damp rag. Throwing the stems in a Oxiclean or bleach soak, if you're not careful, could end up causing more harm than good. If the stems have stamped logos, they will be obliterated making them less desirable to some collectors. A soak like this also creates a rough surface on the stem that must be wet-sanded and buffed. Again, if you're not familiar with the process or have the proper equipment, you could do more harm than good. It's taken me several years and many mistakes to perfect the art of restoration.
    If you're going the Ebay route, wipe 'em down, take numerous well-lit photographs, provide basic dimensions (length, height, chamber depth and diameter), provide full disclosure (deep bites in the stem, cracks, chips in the stem or wood, etc...) and start the bidding low. The auction market will price them accordingly. Be aware that after listing fees, final value fees and Paypal fees, Ebay will end up with about 20% of what each pipe sells for.

    Briarbid is another good alternative and associated with this forum.

    Best of luck to you!

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Contact Pipestud with a list of the names and go from there. The old cajun

    First off, my apologies if I am incorrect but I suggest you do as the Old Canjun says -- it does appear from your origninal post in this thread that you're interested in selling your grandfather's pipes and that you are not interested in actively participating as an active puffer in our hobby.

    To cut to the chase:

    Contact Pipestud at http://www.ebay.com/sch/pipestud/m.html

    You can also contact Dave Neeb at http://mkelaw-pipes.com/

    Or Dave Wolff at: http://walkerbriarworks.com/

    Best of luck in selling your grandfather's pipes! Any one of these three linked here will help you get the most money for those pipes for you and your family.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. eaglerico

    eaglerico

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    You can also contact BriarBlues who is a member here and a consignor of pipes as well.

    http://www.briarblues.com/

    Glenn
    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. numbersix

    numbersix

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    If the stems have stamped logos, they will be obliterated making them less desirable to some collectors.

    That is a good point. Cleaning estates (even a little) takes a bit of research for jumping right in.

    Like Ol Cajun and rothnh have suggested, you could just pass the lot over to a consignment shop and let them handle it. I think the success of that path will depend on the pipes being sold. If they are no-name, beat up old pipes they may have no interest in trying to sell them.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I think the success of that path will depend on the pipes being sold. If they are no-name, beat up old pipes they may have no interest in trying to sell them.

    Being new to this, and to receive some viable estimates as to each pipe's value and the restoration costs, you can simply take some close-up pictures of each of the pipes and list any writing stamped on each pipe and provide all of this in an Email the professional restorer of your choice.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    On line dealers are only interested in name pipes that can be re sold for a profit. No name, beat up pipes will have no interest to these guys. Now if the pipes are GBD's, Comoy's, Dunhill's, Barlings, Sasieni,Savinelli, Peterson,Upshall, Castello, Radice, or other brand names, then you have something of interest. If they are no name beat up pipes then you should just list them as one lot on ebay, there is no reason to waste your time cleaning them up and trying to sell them one at a time.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. hittelusedpipes

    hittelusedpipes

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    I appreciate the advice, and feedback.

    I apologize for any confusion - I do not own these pipes. I have been charged with selling them, by my family, for my Grandfather. I have no intentions of using any sort of consignment to assist me in selling these pipes as I am more than willing and able to put forth whatever effort is required to either make these pipes worth buying, or to simply identify them.

    I was curious as to what smokers and collectors alike are looking for when buying an estate pipe. Whether cleaning them/restoring them is preferred or if leaving them as is would be what people are looking for. He has well over a thousand pipes, so I am sure I can find some cheap or broken pipes to practice on. Probably others that require nothing more than wiping down.

    If it is frowned upon to sign up on here without being a pipe smoker then I apologize, I was unaware.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. deleon

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    @hittelusedpipes when it comes to buying estate pipes for my personal use I really don't care about the condition of the stem. You can always find replacement stems for a decent price. I always try to find a pipe that has good photos displayed to see the condition of the bowl making sure there are no cracks or scorched marks on the bowl or around the pipe. A good cleaning and new replacement stem makes the pipe look good as new! Also add as much description as possible. Logo, if you can find it, length, bowl depth, if the stem is too loose or too tight, teeth marks, faded stain etc. little things like that make all the difference.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. numbersix

    numbersix

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    He has well over a thousand pipes, so I am sure I can find some cheap or broken pipes to practice on. Probably others that require nothing more than wiping down.

    If it is frowned upon to sign up on here without being a pipe smoker then I apologize, I was unaware.

    First of all - I gotta say - one thousand—Wow!

    Second: anyone is welcome here, so no worries if you don't smoke. I think this could be a fun assignment for you. There are many brands that can command a lot of $$. Since your grandfather was clearly a collector, you could have some valuable pipes.

    As far as condition, believe it or not, sometimes not cleaning them can garner almost as much as cleaned - all depends on the brand and rarity of the pipe. Cleaning takes a bit of knowledge, otherwise you run the risk of ruining the pipe. There are lots of videos and plenty of people here who can help.

    For research purposes on brands and the age of a pipe, try these two sites:

    http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

    http://www.pipephil.eu/

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    Holy crap, a thousand pipes, that is amazing. I am sure there must be some valuable ones. Six has given you the two sites that will provide the most info on the different brands. I have to say, this is going to be a full time job to research, clean and sell that many pipes. You could probably spend 40 hours a week for months to get this job done, good luck to you.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I don't mean to offend you, but as someone who admittedly knows nothing about pipes, who has taken on the responsibility for the family to properly dispose of more than 1,000 smoking pipes, taking this on yourself is, IMHO, akin to operating on yourself in major surgery. Hence, the advice given to seek a professional to assist you in this process.

    Of course, if you insist on doing this yourself and do it correctly, be prepared for some years of considerable effort on your part. Best of luck to you.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. mthanded

    mthanded

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    To answer your question about what people look for, I can give you only my opinion and what I look for.

    1. Maker
    2. Condition
    3 style

    Those are probably the top three and when I search Ebay, I look for the brand and then scroll for 2 and 3. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. numbersix

    numbersix

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    dispose of more than 1,000 smoking pipes, taking this on yourself is, IMHO, akin to operating on yourself in major surgery

    Rothnh makes a good point. Even if the pipes themselves need minor cleaning, selling them can take quite a long time. I'd recommend that you be prepared to be in this for the long haul. In essence, you are about to become a pipe reseller - and it could be a nice little side business that sustains itself for years to come (if you have many collectible pipes).

    As for restoring the pipes, my guess is that they might already be in decent shape - I say this because if your grandfather has over 1,000 pipes, that in my book, makes him a collector and collectors usually treat their collections well.

    Ultimately you might want to learn some simple cleaning basics rather than try to become a professional restorer (which takes skill and years of experience). Pipe smokers can be very picky on how a restoration is done and would rather buy a pipe in need of a cleaning than a clean-looking pipe that was incorrectly done.

    Good luck and I hope you'll share with us what you find in that collection.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. hittelusedpipes

    hittelusedpipes

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    I don't mean to offend you

    I wasn't offended. I just didn't want to come on here and be perceived as a spammer, or someone trying to take advantage...wanted to avoid stepping on any toes, is all.

    I do appreciate all the feedback from everyone, and I assumed it would be a pretty monumental undertaking, but it should be well worth it. As for my grandfather being a collector - yes, but he was more of a smoker. He often had a sign at our family businesses that notified patrons that "we buy used pipes" so most of the collection was hardly hand-selected.

    He did however take care of the pipes, as the entire extra bedroom in which they were stored in was a mass of labeled tupperware and shoeboxes. The pipes have been moved into storage since then, however, so I am aware of how careful they were to keep them organized.

    Having read the posts above, I am wondering if using bleach/oxy-clean treatments on pure vulcanite stems with no brand markings on them would still be the way to go. I have some Soren pipes with massive oxidation built up on the stems (a couple are pure green) and I already have a buffer. I can skip to simple reaming and cleaning of the other pipes I have (a few kaywoodies in pretty decent condition) for the time being until I get the hang of buffing.

    As always, your feedback is welcome.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. numbersix

    numbersix

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    "we buy used pipes" so most of the collection was hardly hand-selected.

    Of course you will need to look at each one carefully to be sure you don't miss a prized pipe in amongst the OTC brands. As for the OTC pipes, they can be a tough sell on ebay. I always see a bunch of them starting at $4.99 and getting no takers. However, some OTC pipes do well, like Kaywoodie.

    Having read the posts above, I am wondering if using bleach/oxy-clean treatments on pure vulcanite stems with no brand markings on them would still be the way to go. I have some Soren pipes with massive oxidation built up on the stems (a couple are pure green) and I already have a buffer. I can skip to simple reaming and cleaning of the other pipes I have (a few kaywoodies in pretty decent condition) for the time being until I get the hang of buffing.

    I am not an expert in restoration, but that sounds like a good strategy to me. Good luck. Hope you will keep us posted.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. rmbittner

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    For me, I initially look for the same things I look for when purchasing a new pipe.

    1. Brand. I want something I know or have some connection to.
    2. Shape.
    3. Finish. I'm drawn to certain finishes, turned off by others.

    Assuming an estate passes those tests, then I'd look for:

    4. Condition. Has it been well-cared for, reamed, cleaned/sanitized? Are there any tell-tale signs of impending burn-out, cracks? Has the top of the bowl been scarred by a lighter? Is the stem in fairly good shape?
    5. The seller. Online, I look for excellent feedback and a history of doing business on the Internet. I expect a detailed description of anything not evident in the photos. In person. . . well, does the seller strike me as trustworthy, friendly, knowledgeable about what's being sold?

    For me, that's pretty much it.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. ssjones

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    Good photos are a must, sometimes this is easier said then done.
    A clear description as mentioned, size, marks,etc. are also necessary for a successful sale.
    Cleaning estate pipes for resale can be a lot of work and takes a good bit of experience. It's not rocket science, but mistakes can easily be made, possibly ruining or seriously damaging a valuable estate can occur. If you are intent on cleaning them yourself, start with some of the lower end pieces and hone your craft. Posts from Ejames here will also be helpful, he has a ton of experience great results.
    The "Reborn Pipes" blog offers a lot of detailed explanations of how to do all of the basic steps. Most of what I've learned has come via that blog owner, Steve Laug.

    Al

    Posted 1 year ago #

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