Absolutely. I imagine that if I had purchased a Butz Choquin of a higher caliber, it might have been a better pipe. But I paid $45.00 in 1983 for this pipe, a Butz Choquin d'Accord. Quite pricey back then for a disappointing smoke.
I'm an admirer of St. Claude and French pipes in general. They started the use of briar as pipe material, or maybe adopted and perfected it. Most of the classic "English" pipes are modeled after French designs, though the French also have a certain style and manner of their own. I have always found that French pipes look and perform well above their price points, and some are incredible bargains such as Ewa pipes if you like small ones. You can decide for yourself between the different brands, but the French pipe making culture is highly developed. Some have a little tighter draw, others more open, just find what you like. But their quality is uniform and high.
WELL; Mso489, based on my observations YOU said it all as how it is,one thing of which I was amazed with French ones and is the quality of briar for the price, yes sometimes the stem shaping leaves to be desired,the draw can be anything, but overall they very good ones, and if someone wants to explore some more St Claude make pipes I'd happy to direct you to the following sites,La Pipe.fr,Lahavane-Nimes.fr they ship world over and are having discounts ongoin' yet if someone here is feelin' troubled when processing and checking his/her order,I'm here to help ,Ok so much for this today.Regards, Paul
"St Claude certainly has pipe history and may have been the heart of the modern pipe industry."
No question about it Newbroom, St. Claude is the heart of modern (and old) pipe making industry. There are many makers there, some well known and others not so well known. It is the latter that supply most of the 'branded' manufacturers with part turned stummels.
The history of (briar) pipe making has it's roots in St. Claude with many of the world's most famous brands starting out in the region.