Yikes! Well just when I thought I had seen all the shapes you show me that.
I hope you smile with me when I say I have to weigh in on the side of butt ugly too. However, what is that saying about beauty and beholder. To each his own and as long as it pleases you then it is all that matters.
It sure is a conversation piece I must say and pieces like this make looking at pipes so much more interesting I think.
A few years ago Sablebrush told me "be patient, another one will come along" (in general, not this piece). Sure enough he's right, but sometimes it takes a while.
I'm a MM965 smoker, so that's what will be loaded on the first go-around.
The pipe was delivered today, and boy, is it big, weighing at 102 grams. It is easily the largest pipe in my collection.
The ebay pictures didn't reveal that the stem had enough oxidation that I gave it a clean-up. It was worth the effort and the stem looks much better (OK, I'm super picky about oxidized stems!). The rim had some mild darkening that I was able to remove with some worn micromesh. It wasn't bad, but like stem, better now.
After getting this one in hand, I'm really thrilled with this pipe and it was worth the long search.
Great looking piece. Looking at it head on I'm inclined to think that it could have originally been selected for a figure carved bowl, as in a face with a hat?? It's unusual but attractive. Can't wait to hear how she smokes.
I'm smoking it now, wonderful. It's smoking like a dream, I feel regal with this one in my hand.
The seller was Rodrigo at Treasurepipes. He did a great job cleaning the bowl/interior. He does something to those photos and they are generally from too far away. I cropped the Ebay pix shown in the first part of the thread. I suspect he's using a telephoto lens to shoot vs. a macro lens.
@Peck - 50 grams is my typical limit, but for this unusual piece, I made an exception. Until just now, I hoped it wasn't one I'd regret.
@Settersbrace - this isn't a common Charatan shape, but one they used with some frequency. I've seen enough that I don't believe there is any figural connection. All the ones I've seen have been dark stained and definitely not the "Selected" grade. Those were also in the 90 gram range, this the first XL I've seen in this shape. Apparently there aren't too many serious Charatan collectors in pipe forums, as none have replied with any info. Too bad I can't make the Charatan collectors meeting in Chicago.
@ Orlandofurisimo: I conclude early 60's (1961-1965). The seller thought it was pre-Lane. Although no real Charatan collector has chimed in, so I'd love some comments. I still also cannot really pin down the origins of this shape or the reference to "Countryman". Welcome to the forums BTW!
A smooth Countryman was sold by Mike Reschke this evening. I don't think that I've ever this shape in smooth. It had a lot of dings and marks in the briar. But, it had two stems.