Interesting Completed Ebay Auctions - British Pipes

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bayareabriar

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May 8, 2019
502
807
I've been shaking my head with some disbelief at this one's astonishing final price. The 1937 coronation was by equal measures a big deal and something of a fiasco for English luxury good makers. This because of the unexpected abdication of Edward VIII on 10-11 December 1936 with ceremonies scheduled for 12 May. Every imaginable kind of souvenir for every budget were in the works--mugs with royal portraits and coats of arms, etched crystal decanters, porcelain tea sets, beautiful wrought sterling silver objects for desk and table, medals.

Unfortunately for many of Englands most famous brands and retailers quite a lot of Edward VIII merchandise had already been manufactured, one infers, it was already in stores and being sold when the shocking announcement came.

I am a big fan of an art deco London silversmith called "R.E. Stone" who sold to retailers like Asprey, and own quite a number of his surprising large range of handsome coronation pieces variously celebrating either Edward or George (indeed, my impression is he may not have had time to make anything for at least a year that wasn't).

As for the pipe--it's certainly nice enough but definitely presents a few riddles. It appears to be unsmoked and has a lovely "bowling ball" vulcanite stem, but the crown looks to me fairly generic (ie it finesses altogether the awkward question of whether it is honoring the company's long time champion and patron, Edward, or his younger brother).

Nothing about it suggests it was anything other than the sort of luxury souvenir that other retailers were hawking. And that Dunhill had actual made it for one of them personally (which might have justified its regal price). What is curious--if I am reading the blurry scan of its nomenclature is that the pipe appears to date (with a "13") to 1933--which is to say, even if one assumes the nicely executed crown was Dunhill's own work, there's a three-four year gap between the making of the stummel and the addition of this carving. Usually (but not always) completed Dunhill pipes that remained in stock unsold for more than a year received an additional updated stamp (to extend their warranty). But this pipe appears to lack any.

Intriguing.
Ditto
 
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Humblepipe

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2019
1,114
2,879
Guerneville, CA
I've been shaking my head with some disbelief at this one's astonishing final price. The 1937 coronation was by equal measures a big deal and something of a fiasco for English luxury good makers. This because of the unexpected abdication of Edward VIII on 10-11 December 1936 with ceremonies scheduled for 12 May. Every imaginable kind of souvenir for every budget were in the works--mugs with royal portraits and coats of arms, etched crystal decanters, porcelain tea sets, beautiful wrought sterling silver objects for desk and table, medals.

Unfortunately for many of Englands most famous brands and retailers quite a lot of Edward VIII merchandise had already been manufactured, one infers, it was already in stores and being sold when the shocking announcement came.

I am a big fan of an art deco London silversmith called "R.E. Stone" who sold to retailers like Asprey, and own quite a number of his surprising large range of handsome coronation pieces variously celebrating either Edward or George (indeed, my impression is he may not have had time to make anything for at least a year that wasn't).

As for the pipe--it's certainly nice enough but definitely presents a few riddles. It appears to be unsmoked and has a lovely "bowling ball" vulcanite stem, but the crown looks to me fairly generic (ie it finesses altogether the awkward question of whether it is honoring the company's long time champion and patron, Edward, or his younger brother).

Nothing about it suggests it was anything other than the sort of luxury souvenir that other retailers were hawking. And that Dunhill had actual made it for one of them personally (which might have justified its regal price). What is curious--if I am reading the blurry scan of its nomenclature is that the pipe appears to date (with a "13") to 1933--which is to say, even if one assumes the nicely executed crown was Dunhill's own work, there's a three-four year gap between the making of the stummel and the addition of this carving. Usually (but not always) completed Dunhill pipes that remained in stock unsold for more than a year received an additional updated stamp (to extend their warranty). But this pipe appears to lack any.

Intriguing.


$400-$500 would be a big purchase for me. Then again, I smoke all the pipes I own. I have no criticism at all for collecting pipes. Sounds fun, but not my thing. Nevertheless, (and to your point) I do not see a way of authenticating a pipe that is purchased via Ebay. At $400-$500 it is a risk... at nearly $4000? If I collected pipes, I would only wager that much within the context of a sanctioned auction house where authenticity is certified in some way.
 
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sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
14,119
19,195
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
When dealing with this sort of item the buyer really needs to know what he’s looking at.
I’ve seen a number of pipes that give me pause, like pipes with “original” stems that are clearly replacements, pipes with nomenclature that is clearly wrong for the period claimed, and pipes that have had extensive cosmetic surgery to make them appear to be in “lightly used” condition when they are not.
 

orlandofurioso

Preferred Member
Dec 10, 2013
890
785
Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Th
I've been shaking my head with some disbelief at this one's astonishing final price. The 1937 coronation was by equal measures a big deal and something of a fiasco for English luxury good makers. This because of the unexpected abdication of Edward VIII on 10-11 December 1936 with ceremonies scheduled for 12 May. Every imaginable kind of souvenir for every budget were in the works--mugs with royal portraits and coats of arms, etched crystal decanters, porcelain tea sets, beautiful wrought sterling silver objects for desk and table, medals.

Unfortunately for many of Englands most famous brands and retailers quite a lot of Edward VIII merchandise had already been manufactured, one infers, it was already in stores and being sold when the shocking announcement came.

I am a big fan of an art deco London silversmith called "R.E. Stone" who sold to retailers like Asprey, and own quite a number of his surprising large range of handsome coronation pieces variously celebrating either Edward or George (indeed, my impression is he may not have had time to make anything for at least a year that wasn't).

As for the pipe--it's certainly nice enough but definitely presents a few riddles. It appears to be unsmoked and has a lovely "bowling ball" vulcanite stem, but the crown looks to me fairly generic (ie it finesses altogether the awkward question of whether it is honoring the company's long time champion and patron, Edward, or his younger brother).

Nothing about it suggests it was anything other than the sort of luxury souvenir that other retailers were hawking. And that Dunhill had actual made it for one of them personally (which might have justified its regal price). What is curious--if I am reading the blurry scan of its nomenclature is that the pipe appears to date (with a "13") to 1933--which is to say, even if one assumes the nicely executed crown was Dunhill's own work, there's a three-four year gap between the making of the stummel and the addition of this carving. Usually (but not always) completed Dunhill pipes that remained in stock unsold for more than a year received an additional updated stamp (to extend their warranty). But this pipe appears to lack any.

Intriguing.
Thank you for sharing your contemplations Guy, it is very intruing indeed. I noticed the year suffix and wondered.
Cheers,
Roland
 
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ssjones

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Staff member
May 11, 2011
16,140
4,842
Maryland
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I thought this went a little low, an unsmoked Sasieni Ashford Natural, sold by Treasurepipes (the biggest ebay pipe seller, now that Rob Cooper is out of the game?). Six years ago, I bought the same pipe, unsmoked with box and bag, for $377.

 
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jeremiah

New member
Jul 14, 2017
22
83
I thought this went a little low, an unsmoked Sasieni Ashford Natural, sold by Treasurepipes (the biggest ebay pipe seller, now that Rob Cooper is out of the game?). Six years ago, I bought the same pipe, unsmoked with box and bag, for $377.

That does seem low, Al. But it's a damn small pipe. I have one that I never smoke, it's just too petite for my tastes.
 
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sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
14,119
19,195
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
This one was a surprise:
Two bidders get into a war, and an EL that looks possibly topped, with a stem, oxidized, that doesn't seat and has tooth dents, a fair amount of wear overall, poorly photographed, nets $305.
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
14,119
19,195
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
And here's another one, this one a Special, another bidding duel. Blurry photographs, dull stem, rim's been scrubbed and lost color, stem not seated, also an EL, that nets the same amount, $305.

 
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ssjones

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Staff member
May 11, 2011
16,140
4,842
Maryland
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This one was a surprise:
Two bidders get into a war, and an EL that looks possibly topped, with a stem, oxidized, that doesn't seat and has tooth dents, a fair amount of wear overall, poorly photographed, nets $305.
All rookie Ebay members (2 digit Ebay #'s) guess someone wanted it. Looks easily restored. You'd know better than I on the topped. but if I topped it, I would have removed the light scorch marks, and the nick on one side.
 

orlandofurioso

Preferred Member
Dec 10, 2013
890
785
Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Hi Jesse,
We often seem to follow the same auctions :)
Rim does not look topped to me , only cleaned and lost color,the refurb probably being a pushover.
Actually I like it a lot, Barlng's bent pipes are not thick on the ground.
I think of this pipe as being a very decent one with good grain . What makes you think it is topped ?
Stellar price nevertheless.
 
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orlandofurioso

Preferred Member
Dec 10, 2013
890
785
Nijmegen, the Netherlands
And here's another one, this one a Special, another bidding duel. Blurry photographs, dull stem, rim's been scrubbed and lost color, stem not seated, also an EL, that nets the same amount, $305.

The man is not a thoroughbred pipe seller ( he knows nil about pipes ) and we exchanged a few mails .
He is a very congenial person and earned a good reputation as a seller.
I think most of his pipes to be very attractive ; higher graded and in fine condition.
Admittedly most fetch (too) high prices, I fully agree on that one.
 
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ssjones

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Staff member
May 11, 2011
16,140
4,842
Maryland
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ssjones

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May 11, 2011
16,140
4,842
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I was little bummed to whiff on this 499 Comoy's 2nd line. $27 shipping from England made me hold back a bit. It would have probably gotten lost or seized, so perhaps for the best. I don't think that I've encountered another 499 2nd line.

 

ssjones

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May 11, 2011
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mingc

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Jun 20, 2019
2,189
5,148
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
A silver capped Dunhill, military stem 5108 is pretty unusual, but $274 for a pipe with no stem? I guess if you are going to get a replacement stem, that's the easiest one to replicate.

The stem--a stem--was sold separately by the same seller. I hope the same person won both!
 
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ssjones

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Staff member
May 11, 2011
16,140
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The stem--a stem--was sold separately by the same seller. I hope the same person won both!
Wow, that's an interesting way to sell a pipe. Good catch! Hopefully the two will be rejoined soon!