Charatan Coronation -- One of the Most Perfect Straight Grain Specimens Known

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Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
First off, this pipe is huge. 120 grams, over 7 inches long.
Second, photographs don't convey the "seamlessness" of the grain. In hand the grain's symmetry and evenness of color is astounding. And NO sand pits. Not a speck anywhere. None. Zero.
Third, prominent PipeWorld citizen, straight grain specialist collector, and author of this book:
...says this Coronation has the best combination of straight grain symmetry, size, color, and flawlessness HE has ever seen. 8)
I hope Ken Barnes spots this thread and will tell us what he knows about Coronations in general, and with luck maybe this particular specimen. (All I know is they pre-date Herman Lane and his many uber-grade additions to the Charatan line... Achievement, Crown Achievement, etc.)
It found its way to me for a tenon replacement on the original stem, and after a bit of discussion a second stem was requested. One that was a bit longer and more flowing. (The original was apparently made deliberately short because of the pipe's size and weight, but the gain in practicality was a loss in design balance and visual appeal.)
The tenons were made identical in size to a couple ten thousandths of an inch so that they could be freely swapped at any time without causing fit problems.


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Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
Very nice. The new stem definitely gives the pipe a more balanced look. I'd say the pipe dates to the late 1950's early 1960's; late family era, early Lane era.



Junior Member
Nov 25, 2017
Hi George

How did you make the CP logo?
And did you make a video of the work that you will be posting?
Very nice work



Senior Member
Nov 12, 2015
I think that this is one of the earliest Coronations I have seen.

I must say that Charatan’s bowl-work was far superior to the mouthpiece work that was produced!

I think the bend/curve on the mouthpiece of the original is really poor whilst the curve formed on the mouthpiece below this pic is absolutely gorgeous as is the mouthpiece work in general - exquisite!

Another thing I notice, whilst looking at the old tenon in the bottom picture, is that it was turned by hand using a cage chuck, which you can see on the old Pathe News video on Charatan’s manufacture, as the chimney is slightly tapered. I will also ask Barry the year they first used a Floccing machine to carry out this operation.

Reuben used to turn the chimney so that it was tapered the other way and I think that Sid Percy turned and fitted this one.

I do not know the date when the Coronation quality superseded the Supreme, but will ask Barry as he joined the firm in 1959 and would probably know.

Another interesting point is that I think that this ‘Coronation stamp die’ was the original which was slightly altered so it did not fan-out so much and could make it easier to stamp.

I think this later stamp is slightly more bunched? It certainly wasn’t replaced due to the fact that the stamp die was worn!!!



Staff member
May 11, 2011
Fascinating and the ultimate high praise from the straight grain master.

The new stem gives the briar the grace it deserves and awesome to have the original as well (which looks pinched).

I've never held a Coronation in person, despite immediately heading to Dennis Conga's table at every show I make. It's too bad Dennis doesn't participate in any web forums, I'd love hear his thoughts on this one.



Preferred Member
Jul 7, 2013
The "prominent pipeworld citizen" is a lucky guy, George. The repair and replacement work you've done is stunning.
I'm not a Charatan expert and can't say with certainty when the Coronation was launched. I know that although neither Tony Soderman or Richard Hacker given a precise date, by implication they both say the introduction was in the early to mid 1960's. For what it's worth the first mention I"ve found of the pipe is in the 1964-65 RTDA Almanac, but I should note that while I have all the almanacs from the 1950s, I"m missing 1960-1963.



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
That is a stunning pipe, even though there's a stray grain out of place.
The new stem is quite the improvement.



Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
Monterey Peninsula
Stunning, and the replacement stem is way better than the original.
Now, could the tiny dents be steamed out? If so, would you recommend for or against that?



Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013

How did you make the CP logo?
With a CP logo maker, of course. :mrgreen:
OK, that was mean... with a cold stamp, the same way Charatan did.
And did you make a video of the work that you will be posting?
No. This project involved significant lathe use, and since my lathe is in a separate room from the rest of the shop, the tripod, lights, and power cord logistics of running back and forth to the main bench were more than I wanted to deal with.
George, did you modify the mortise at all? Asking for a friend.
Technically yes, but I didn't change the size. I just "re-tubularized" and stabilized it to enable reliable long-term functioning of the switchable stem concept. (sounds trivial... but making swappable stems for a used pipe is a pitfall-filled PITA.)
Now, could the tiny dents be steamed out? If so, would you recommend for or against that?
If you are referring to the briar, in hand they are "functionally invisible" without a magnifying glass (or magnifying pics like the above). If you are referring to the rough patch on the surface of the original stem, that's from having been heated to the boiling/bubbling point during its original bending. :( That can't be fixed except with a patch, and since that would introduce color issues over time it's easiest just to let such areas be.

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