Estate Pipe Collectors

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mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
4,339
658
I was browsing ebay and the usual suspects this morning, and I thought about the appeal of estate pipes, more specifically, older estate pipes. There is a certain draw to me to an older pipe, a pipe decades older than myself. Part of what gets me interested in these old pipes is imagining the life they had before me, and the stories they could tell. But another part of me likes estates because they are so much cheaper than new.
So for you guys that have estates in your rotation, is the appeal to you more financial or nostalgic/romantic?

 

davet

Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
3,783
10
Newer estates for the value but older, much older estates for the rarity / nostalgia and like dave g says
They don’t make em like they use to.
I prefer the older estates :puffy:

 

scloyd

Preferred Member
May 23, 2018
2,236
526
I have five estates that I picked up cheap at local antique shops. They're all in good condition and I've cleaned them and removed some chatter. I still need to polish them. I haven't smoked any of them yet but I do like the nostalgia of them.

 

saltedplug

Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
2,954
7
I used to think of estates as doubling my money. I couldn't afford new what quality I wanted, but estate I could. This culminated in a Savinelli autograph blast, group 5 or 6, with a wonderfully shaped, elongate bowl for which I paid ~$250.00.

 

judcasper

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2019
306
1
I'm still waiting to pick up my first estate, but they're extremely thin on the ground in my part of the world. On the rare occasion I find a likely establishment and go in to ask, I always get the same response: "Pipes?? Nooo, we never get any pipes in I'm afraid."
There's ebay, of course, but even the estates on there tend to be out of my price range.

 

raevans

Member
Apr 20, 2013
271
5
the appeal to you more financial or nostalgic/romantic
Yes to all. But as of late when I pick-up an estate, it's more about pipes that will never be produced again either because the pipe maker is no longer with us or has retired. My last few finds have been a Sam Learned horn series, a Bob Hayes panel, a Clarence Mickles full bent, and one that is on its way, Steve Weiner blast.
I knew all of these makers, sat next to them and shot the shit at many a pipe show. Now when I see one of there creations it's hard to resist. So financial yes, but maybe a bit more towards nostalgic/romantic.

 

seanv

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2018
1,220
541
Canada
I agree with everything mike has in his first post. I would love to own a pre ww1 pipe. I cannot even begin to imagine the life that thing would have seen.

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
1,842
31
In my opinion:
A technical definition of estate pipe, is a pipe which previously belonged to someone else and is sold as part of that persons estate after they have died.
I call them "Rescued Pipes" because I have rescued them from places like flea markets, street fairs and antique shops and malls. At one time I was just buying old pipes because I was teaching myself how to restore pipes and didn't want to practice on anything valuable. Now a pipe has to be either really old or something that wasn't sold in a drugstore. I have passed on a number of Dr. Grabow's being sold and priced as antiques because I can still find Dr. Grabows at some of the local drugstores.
My latest finds were a Preben Holms and two Ben Wades that were carved during the Preben Holms era.

 

scloyd

Preferred Member
May 23, 2018
2,236
526
At one time I was just buying old pipes because I was teaching myself how to restore pipes and didn't want to practice on anything valuable.
This is me now. I don't mind spending $5-$10 on estate pipes from antique shops to "practice" my restoration skills.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,667
2,939
Monterey Peninsula
A technical definition of estate pipe, is a pipe which previously belonged to someone else and is sold as part of that persons estate after they have died.
True dat. Unfortunately, it now seems to mean any pipe that has been previously owned, smoked or unsmoked. I'd guess half of my pipes fall into that category.

 

rdavid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2018
654
2
Milton, FL
It’s kinda funny because as a fairly new piper, I was always turned away from estates. Smoking somebody else’s previously owned pipe just didn’t appeal to me at all.
Now that I own a couple, it’s amazing how my attitude has changed. I always wonder who owned it prior to me and what it’s been through etc. I actually ordered a Savinelli Punto Oro Gold estate by accident thinking it was new until I got it. I noticed the chamber was darkened from smoking and went back to check my order. Sure enough, I did order an estate. Also saved a bunch as I compared it to a new one. This pipe literally looks brand new except for the slight chamber darkening and I’d be surprised if this was smoked more than once. Makes me think the previous owner tried pipes and didn’t like them? Who knows but the wondering always adds to the experience.
Now I have a pre transition Barling’s Make on the way and will be my first attempt at a very careful restoration. Can’t wait!

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,990
1,195
Initially it was simply a matter of economics. Buying an estate pipe cost far less than buying a new one. While I occasionally splurged on a lower end new pipe I could buy a higher graded used pipe for about the same money. As I became more knowledgeable about pipes I grew to appreciate estates for more than their price point and began to see their value. Price and value are very different things.
I became interested in the history attached to pipes and tobaccos, which eventually led to me collecting, in an extremely modest fashion, Barlings and other fine Britwood. Perhaps there is a little bit of appreciation of the romance of it, old wood, Algerian briar, etc, etc. I certainly love the older shapings and stylings. Not much in the way of nostalgia as I'm not of the rose colored glasses sort.
I've certainly been rewarded with many hours of pleasure at hunting down information, taking dips in the river and trying to make connections. And I've met some kindred spirits along the way, and that's been priceless.
I'm pretty much done with the buying, both in pipes and tobaccos. I'm still looking for clues and will probably do one more revision to my Pipedia article. It's time to get rid of stuff, not accumulate more.
It's little bits of history like this:

that you can only find with estate pipes.

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,494
23
Initially, pipe smoking was about my eliminating paper while I used tobacco. Once I got started and began to investigate the subject, I became enthralled with learning and trying out new stuff. I had only dabbled with ebay previously, but, once I began to 'win' pipe auctions, my 'collection' was off and running.

That my new hobby coincided nicely with my retirement, this became a favorite pastime.

I haven't bought a pipe in more than a year, and don't plan to either. In fact, I will be divesting of many if possible.

I would be quite happy with a few MM Prides.

 

tschiraldi

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2015
1,148
3
For me, it's quality. I think the Brits of old really knew how to hand make a pipe. Great Briar, beautiful shaping, a perfect draw, and the comfort of hand made ebonite stems (or comfortable acrylic from Castello). The history is also a draw for me. I love the stories about the old shops and their origins and progressions.

 

hoppes

Member
Mar 15, 2017
153
28
I began smoking a pipe in college many years ago. Had only one pipe since I couldn't afford more than that at the time. Over the years I managed to find 45-50 pipes that included Castello's, Ascorti's, Barlings,Dunhills, Savinelli's' Petersons, etc.You could find them in various stores and websites for very low prices compared to today. 2-3 years ago I dragged out the collection since I had given up pipes for many years. They weren't being used so sold the entire collection.Unfortunately, I found I didn't have a hobby particularly during the cold, rainy months of winter when one cannot get outside. So, I started buying the worst condition pipes I could find and learned how to resuscitate them. I love to work with my hands especially with a beautiful piece of old briar. It is very satisfying to recreate a 50-60 year old pipe and bring it back to life. I now have another 50 or so pipes that have been resurrected-- a good number of which are not well known. I need to get rid of about 40 of them and start the cycle over. The other thing I love is the history that one can learn from research and the experts on this site. It also allows one to find the pipes that suit ones taste and gives the best smoke. Nice hobby to have ! Hoppes

Here's a History Question: Do you remember this pipe? OK, who's the gentleman in the picture?







Very good!

 

pianopuffer

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
459
35
NYC
I love the estate market. Either a flea market find that needs some TLC or a cleaned and ready to go pipe on SP or other online vendors, they're all good in my book.
The added bonus is the history that these pipes bring with them. The stories they could tell!