1892 GBD "Général Dodds" Bulldog [Pic Heavy]

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piffyr

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Apr 24, 2015
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I don’t often post client work. I prefer to let them do that sort of thing themselves if they wish, but this pipe is sort of a milestone for me. To date, this is the oldest briar pipe that I have worked with (though I’ve worked with a couple of meerschaums that pre-date it).













The "Général Dodds" stamping almost surely refers to the renowned (and somewhat controversial), Général Alfred-Amédée Dodds, who was commander of French forces in Senegal from 1890 to 1892 among many other high-ranking and distinguished roles in the French military during the late 19th and very early 20th century.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred-Am%C3%A9d%C3%A9e_Dodds
What connection the pipe has with the man I can only guess, but given that the pipe was made at the height of Dodds’ distinction I think it’s unlikely that it’s only a commemorative piece.
It’s pretty damn cool in any case.

 

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piffyr

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Apr 24, 2015
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What kind of work did it need?
This one was in very solid condition from the get-go. I assume that it was case-kept for most of its life. The pipe had been previously worked, however. So, most of my work was in removing the signs of that work.

 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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That's a beautiful job! But, then again, that's the only kind of work that you do. Are there any stampings on the windcap that would indicate that it was made by GBD and not a third party? The word "reposé" refers to the windcap design having been either registered or patented. There appears to be a tiny stamp at about 10 o'clock on the picture of the besel seen straight on.

 

lightmybriar

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Mar 11, 2014
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Unnmnnnnnnnnnnnbelievably cool!!! History, mystery, and beauty...what more can you desire in a pipe? WOW

 

mikethompson

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Jun 26, 2016
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Beautiful pipe! What an interesting piece of history as well.
Thanks for sharing that piffyr!

 

piffyr

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
782
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Your restorations never cease to amaze. Looks like it came out of a time machine.
I can't take too much credit for the condition of the pipe, Dave. My touch on this one was very light. For this post, I intended to highlight the uniqueness of the pipe itself rather than the work that was done.
Are there any stampings on the windcap that would indicate that it was made by GBD and not a third party? The word "reposé" refers to the windcap design having been either registered or patented. There appears to be a tiny stamp at about 10 o'clock on the picture of the besel seen straight on.
I think that's only the reflection of the camera's focus bulb, Jesse. The last image above shows every bit of the nomenclature on the pipe.
I've considered that the cap may not have been made by GBD. There's no maker's mark on it at all. The General Dodds reference and the year of make match up to the same time frame though. So, I'm thinking that it's original to the pipe at the time of "sale" even if it's not factory made, if you know what I'm saying. Then again, I may be over-romanticizing. I try to avoid that as much as I can, but I'm as susceptible as the next pipe nerd.

 

jguss

Preferred Member
Jul 7, 2013
865
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Stunning pipe, in incredible condition. An amazing survival.
I tend to agree that the cap is contemporaneous with the pipe. From what I can tell of Dodds' career, he became a general in 1892; it would make sense that the pipe commemorates that event. Whether it was a model released to the public, or the personal property of Dodds is unknown (at least to me). I guess if another one ever turns up we'll have an answer.
Just to be clear, though, the pipe itself already existed in GBD's line. Here's a full page ad from an 1890 issue of Tobacco (the preeminent UK industry journal); look at the second-from-the-left pipe on the bottom:


 
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