Dunhill Black Spot

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waznyf

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2012
723
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Michigan
Hey Everyone,
I just purchased a Dunhill with a black spot. Does anyone know much about the history of a black spot or why they are there?

Just curious. The seller told me that he believes that chemical changes caused the once ivory White Spot insert to change color. Any and all help would be much appreciated! Thanks!
-Frank

 

kashmir

Preferred Member
May 17, 2011
2,713
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Northern New Jersey
I've heard a couple stories about Dunhill black spots. One was that certain customers had black dots installed by Dunhill to keep a low profile so as not to advertise their pipes in a working man's pub. Apparantly in England certain blue collar circles disdained Dunhills as too aristocratic, and pulling out a white spot in the wrong pub in the East End could land you in a fight. Another story is that folks blackened their white spots themselves perhaps to fit the same purpose. Kinda like some professional photographers used to take a black magic marker to the prominent red logo on their Leica M cameras so as not to draw attention to the expensive camera. I've seen Dunhills with white stems that carried the White Spot that was circled with a thin black line to offset the white on white.

 

arno665

Senior Member
Apr 3, 2013
350
10
I have a Dunhill with a black dot. I know for sure that it is an original Dunhill stem because the registration number is still faintly visible. I like Kasmir's explanation and this is what the Loring Dunhill bible has to say: Dunhill may have produced 'black spot' bits (p. 45) - In fact this is extremely doubtful, the truth of the matter no doubt lies in the fact that ivory can be easily stained at any time either accidentally or intentionally. Thus with some black ink, shoe polish or whatever, one can stain an ivory dot black in an instant and no one will be able to tell whether the that 'black dot' was original or not.


 

dukdalf

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Aug 24, 2011
239
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About a year ago I had a very friendly exchange with Mr. Kalmon Hener at Dunhill's about non-white spots (mine's red). He was absultely adamant that to his knowledge and Dunhill's archives no pipe ever left their premises with anything but a white spot. That would make John Loring's suggestion about accidental or intentional staining by the owner even more plausible.

 

kashmir

Preferred Member
May 17, 2011
2,713
1
Northern New Jersey
Shoe polish on ivory: I can see a bruised and battered aristocratic snob hightailing it out of some East End pub, nursining his broken Dunhill and vowing to color in all the White Spots in his collection once he gets home. Flash forward some seventy years, and his collection is disbursed throughout the world, and we're left scratching our heads. LOL.

 

waznyf

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2012
723
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Michigan
Just got off the phone with Brian. He's going to cover this in the mail bag on Thursday's show.
I was thinking of doing this myself, but it appears as if you beat me to it LOL thank you! I look forward to what Brian has to say.
-Frank

 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
2
No doubt some great history here!
Thanks Frank for bringing this subject to light

& thanks to everyone for the vital tidbits!
I love these kind of little footnotes, cool stuff!

 
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