Astley Pipes = Re-Stamped Estate Pipes (Photos)

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pitchfork

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May 25, 2012
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A recent post on the old "Astley Assertion in Pipedia" thread ( http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/astley-assertion-in-pipedia ) seems to give photographic proof of the assertion that "Astley" pipes being sold by James Upshall Co on ebay are really restamped estate pipes. It is truly shocking. I quote:
I've just read the same assertion here ( http://www.pfeife-tabak.de/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9627 it's a well known german pipe board ). Even if one can't read

German, the pictures there are without any doubt. All those Astley's had a previous life as cheap estate pipes.
For example a Prince Of Wales (top):
http://www.imgbox.de/users/public/images/pt0e42kTxQ.png
Reborn as Astley
http://www.imgbox.de/users/public/images/Xw2afCBq0n.png
Just sold as as Astley
http://www.ebay.de/itm/1985-WM-ASHTON-TAYLOR-MADE-ASTLEY-SANDBLASTED-POT-SITTER-BRIAR-PIPE-MINT-NR-/400538604186
I'm afraid, this is more than simple assertion @ pipedia
Old Estates


Old Estate Reborn as "Astley" Pipe


Reborn "Astley" Sold For Profit (wash, rinse, repeat)


Also, note the feedback total of the buyer of the old estates (above) -- it's over 11,000, as is James Upshall Pipe Co's feedback total.


 

guhrillastile

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Mar 29, 2013
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That's an embarrassment to all the passionate and hard working people that restore/sell estates pipes.
Bad juju and just plain not cool. I looked and was hoping it was just coincidental. But grain pattern is a fingerprint. Tsk tsk... That's a bummer.

 

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guhrillastile

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Mar 29, 2013
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Easy to throw rocks as its an exposed cheat. But it really saddened me too see that. Didn't really expect to have that feeling but I just really got bummed reading and digging around a bit.
I'm just a lil fish. But you can see from my threads I play in my shop. I build, restore and at times like to be creative and try. So didn't really expect it but just feel sorta ashamed at being associated with that behavior. Not directly, but agitated because the those new or inexperienced are made that much more leary as a whole. Fueling and fulfilling the thoughts that everyone that restores or builds pipes is out to pull one over on someone. Caveats emptor is common enough already in life.
Card can be played that he did do legitimately good work on the pipe. He did bring it back to life. The quality is nice and I'm sure it will be enjoyed by the buyer. Inflation and supply/demand removes any price point objections for purchase/sale prices too... He is performing work and deserves to make profit. That is also completely understood and encouraged.
It's the dishonesty. The clear and deliberate behavior with use of labels and branding to deceive buyers into thinking it is something it is not. Just sad. Sad in many ways. Same old story of buyers chasing white dots to determine quality, and sellers that put them there to drive the price. Speculation and aristocracy IS a disturbing part of the hobby for all involved.
Whoah. Sorry for the derail. I'll put the soap box away. Great post.

 

jdto

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Nov 11, 2012
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I agree with you, Guhrillastile, it's disappointing to see the restamping take place, as the restorations are well done in and of themselves and if he just sold them honestly as estate pipes, it would be fine.

 

pitchfork

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May 25, 2012
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It would be one thing if they were simply using the "Astley" stamp with a wink and a nod (bad enough), but they actually claim that such-and-such pipe was made several years back by Dunhill, William Ashton Taylor, etc. Neither the maker nor the timeline is true in some cases

 

sparrowhawk

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Jul 24, 2013
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What is the distinction between Ashton pipes and Ashley pipes? I purchased an Ashton--it's arriving next Monday--and now I'm a bit worried it might not be the real thing. Should I be concerned? PS: the purchase was not from eBay.

 

guhrillastile

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Mar 29, 2013
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I respectfully disagree. To shrug off the notion that you can't get worked up and act suprised at it, sure. But for instance look through the feedbacks. At a glance, the seller IS a knowledgeable and well regarded proprietor in our hobby. It's a fools market on the bidding site. But some of us amongst the ranks here count on their reputation for a livelyhood. So I do respectfully dissagree and don't think it is a waste of time at all.
Should the seller be burned at the stake? No of course not. And without a track history of such grievances we should also factor in the possibility that they may have gotten mixed up with hundreds of other pipes all in some stage of repair/refurbish during the process. It can get confusing quickly when you have multiple irons in the fire. I have never personally had interaction with the seller. I cannot vouch for anything about the circumstances or practices of the seller. I have however been rather vocal about it since being made aware of it. I will own my words but reserve my judgement before condemning him/her. I would hope other would agree and do not shrug it off till more is heard. Thousands of positive transactions. Many on the higher end. That does interest me.
I do not defend his actions but without the full story I will urge the hangman to finish his coffee and let some of the dust settle before swinging.

 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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Want to do something about this? Send these images to ebay's compliance department. I personally wouldn't buy anything from this dealer. His previous statements on the "me" section of his pages set off all sorts of alarms. When buying on ebay, use caution.

 

pitchfork

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May 25, 2012
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And, ironically enough, Sparrowhawk's concern about his Ashton being "real," as some puffers get their buns in a pucker on this Astley thing here, it's important to understand and stress that Astley actually never made their own pipes anyway. All Astleys were made by premier pipe makers such as Dunhill, Charatan, Upshall, and others -- much like Comoy's made pipes for Jost's in Saint Louis, or Dunhil made pipes for Ed's, etc.
OK, roth, now you're getting all "metaphysical" with the scare quotes regarding what's "real." What you say is all true, but the descriptions for these pipes claim that they were made by, variously, Dunhill, Charatan, Bill Taylor, etc. But one of these "Bill Taylor" pipes, as seen from the photos, was actually made in Podunk No-Name Pipe Factory by someone other than Bill Taylor.
As noted in another thread on this, Ezrati pontificating on the provenance of the Astley pipes he's trying to sell is, at best, probably a wild guess and and worst outright bullsh!t.
Well, in terms of the Ashton pipe in question, I don't think there's any doubt about what's going on. And bullsh!t, by the way, isn't the proper name for it. What Rob Cooper (coopersark) writes about his pipes could be described as bullsh!t (and he's good at it!), but saying a pipe was made by Bill Taylor when you know it isn't is nothing but a lie.

 

ssjones

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As noted in another thread on this, Ezrati pontificating on the provenance of the Astley pipes he's trying to sell is, at best, probably a wild guess and and worst outright bullsh!t.
I really didn't want to believe this assertion, but that is pretty damning evidence that some dishonesty is at work.
Well said rothtn. I have bought an Astley's from this seller and as an Upshall fan, I frequently checked those auctions. I've heard of no hanky-panky with Upshall pipes, but I won't be using this vendor any longer just to be safe.
As you have stated, Astley's were always made by others so I don't have any qualms about the one I own from Ezrati. But to rebrand a pipe as an Ashton is a travesty.
It is sad to bring this kind of shame to the James Upshall brand. Personally I still don't think any new Upshalls are being made or sold. I'd love to hear from someone in the UK who has seen differently at a shop.

 

ssjones

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Pitchfork rec'd an email from Ezrati, saying Barry Jones was still making pipes and he could do a commission. I find absolutely zero on Barry via Google, nor is he listed in white pages near Tilshead. I also find all of that quite odd as well. I have no idea how old Barry might be? Pipepedia said he started making pipes at 15 and has over 40 years of experience. That puts him somewhere in the late 50's or early 60's. Surely at that age he might be more prominent. Has anyone seen Barry at a UK pipe event/show?

 

cigrmaster

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May 26, 2012
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Sorry but the first picture of three pipes that were bought for 20.50 do not show up in the Ashton Astley picture. The pot that is allegedly an Ashton does not have a silver band where the one in the first pic clearly shows either silver or nickle. Maybe I am missing something? The Ashton stem sure looks like an original also.
The one Astley I owned was alleged to be a Dunhill. I compared the stem to the Dunhill I owned and they were an exact match, and the pipe looked like A Dunhill in all respects. When I got the pipe I was leery which is why I immediately compared it to my Dunhill and if I thought for any reason it was a fake I would have returned it. I have seen many of his Upshall Astleys listed and they also have the same stems and the same stains as many of the Upshalls I have owned. Now I am not saying that this guy from Upshall is not a crook, but I would need to see a lot more evidence than the pics above.

 

pitchfork

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May 25, 2012
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Pitchfork rec'd an email from Ezrati, saying Barry Jones was still making pipes and he could do a commission.
That was someone else (coalsmoke?) -- I remember reading this earlier, though.
Sorry but the first picture of three pipes that were bought for 20.50 do not show up in the Ashton Astley picture. The pot that is allegedly an Ashton does not have a silver band where the one in the first pic clearly shows either silver or nickle. Maybe I am missing something? The Ashton stem sure looks like an original also.
Harris, if you click the link to the pics provided by the German pipester, you can see the pics blown up quite a bit. Yes, the band was removed from the old pipe, but the grain pattern is unmistakably the same. Maybe it's just this one pipe, but the evidence on this pipe seems clear to me.
Moreover, I think the stem is "original" as you say (whatever that means for an Astley) -- but this may be the kind of thing that Al had heard about at one of the shops he frequents -- that Upshall was putting new stems on old pipes. However, I don't think the guy Al spoke with said anything putting new stems on no-name estate pipes.
Also, your Astley may indeed be a Dunhill-made pipe. The nicer Astleys I've seen on their page do indeed look like Dunhills and Upshalls to my eye. On the other hand, some of them look like rusticated Savinellis.

 

ssjones

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However, I don't think the guy Al spoke with said anything putting new stems on no-name estate pipes.
No, I never heard that allegation.
I doubt any of this could ever be "proven", but the water is murky enough that I won't be using this vendor. Another Astley's pipe is not really on my radar map, so that is not an issue. Since my name is Al, I definitely needed a pipe stamped with my initial and I've satisfied that need.

 

pitchfork

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May 25, 2012
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Thanks for chiming in, Al.
BTW, there were some other examples in that German thread -- I only reposted the sandblasted example because it's clearly the same pipe and had the most photos going along with it.
As it happens (I didn't realize this earlier), but they were actually discussing Harris's Astley pipe (a rusticated Dublin) at one point:
A complete untangling of the "secondary use" is probably no longer possible....Just in the What-Are-You-Smoking-thread at Pipes Magazine is teeming with Moty's refurbishments and suspects. The Stories of Astley's that were made by Andreas Bauer or Preben Holm are of course nonsense and not worth a damn. Please forgive me for the Board cross-linking:
http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/latest-addition-to-my-british-collection # post-239649
 

waluljan

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Aug 16, 2013
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Hey folks,
look at the first pictures in the german board:
http://www.imgbox.de/users/public/images/bsTs3Hfsue.png
How one can doubt this "crime" after that proof!
Check the grain. Any doubts?
@ cigrmaster: Check the sandblasted Prince Of Wales. Exactly the same blasted texture on two pipes? I don't think this is possible at all.

Not to mention the curious piece of luck, the fact, the same person bought the one and sold the other... Please!

____
Greetings Waluljan

 
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