James Upshall Estate Pipe

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SaxonX

Might Stick Around
Sep 20, 2021
55
150
Staffordshire Moorlands GB
2474D918-05C4-423C-90A3-B21C546B8308.jpeg7F67D8E9-3352-49E5-A1C3-35EC3D3A1CC6.jpegCB0E9B39-0EA9-45DE-9E76-2BA9C649E322.jpegF00B0B68-B4F5-4C74-8ED2-4AC948DBD794.jpegI bought this estate pipe at auction just this week on a whim, I thought it would make a good case for a first go at restoration. On doing some research on getting it home, I find they appear to be quite desirable. I can't thought find out about this style or its value or rarity etc. I don't want to accidentally wreck a classic so any advice on whether to restore or leave it as would be appreciated as would any info specific to this model and grade.
 

greeneyes

Lifer
Jun 5, 2018
1,769
10,972
This is a more recent Upshall as the identifying stamp was laser-engraved. Had you posted this a year ago the man who likely made this pipe might have told you the very date he made it and what he had for lunch that day. Alas, cancer has taken him from us. He was modest and kind, and a genius with briar. Unless he has answered a question like yours in these archives, and he may well have, the knowledge may well otherwise be lost to oblivion for ever.
 

SaxonX

Might Stick Around
Sep 20, 2021
55
150
Staffordshire Moorlands GB
This is a more recent Upshall as the identifying stamp was laser-engraved. Had you posted this a year ago the man who likely made this pipe might have told you the very date he made it and what he had for lunch that day. Alas, cancer has taken him from us. He was modest and kind, and a genius with briar. Unless he has answered a question like yours in these archives, and he may well have, the knowledge may well otherwise be lost to oblivion for ever.
Thats a real shame! I have flicked through the various threads before posting, if there is anything on here already I have missed it - I read on pipepedia that the maker had died ?
 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
17,032
7,432
Maryland
postimg.cc
A grade pipes were just below P grade, from memory.
The laser engraved nomenclature should hold up, but obviously don't damage it!

The mother of all James Upshall threads is here, read those pages and you'll likely glean most of what there is to know about Upshall pipes.

Upshalls had fantastic grain, but diminished by stems made from blanks, vs cut from rod stock. If you aren't picky about the stem, they are a good buy. I've been in cigar/pipe shops all over the mid-Atlantic. Many still have ridiculously over-priced NOS Upshalls (with heavily oxidized stems).

 

SaxonX

Might Stick Around
Sep 20, 2021
55
150
Staffordshire Moorlands GB
A grade pipes were just below P grade, from memory.
The laser engraved nomenclature should hold up, but obviously don't damage it!

The mother of all James Upshall threads is here, read those pages and you'll likely glean most of what there is to know about Upshall pipes.

Upshalls had fantastic grain, but diminished by stems made from blanks, vs cut from rod stock. If you aren't picky about the stem, they are a good buy. I've been in cigar/pipe shops all over the mid-Atlantic. Many still have ridiculously over-priced NOS Upshalls (with heavily oxidized stems).

Thanks I will take a look, I paid only £22 for it so it seemed a good buy, it is in good order but the stem certainly needs a polish and tidy up before I would want to light it up....
 

craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
5,136
39,739
Minnesota USA
Nice pipe. This was probably made in the early to mid 1990's or later.

Barry Jones had taken on more responsibility for managing the business since Ken Barnes had left, and stummels were being carved by people other than himself.

These were not laser engraved, they were engraved using the same Hermes engraver that they had used since 1983. The "FH" denoting freehand and "4" denoting group size identifies it as coming from that time period ( mid 1990's forward), as they did not do that prior.

The glory days for James Upshall pipes was in the late 1970's - late 1980's. Pipes from that era are more in demand. They were getting the best briar, and Barry was making the stummels. Pipes made after that time are, in the eyes of collectors less desirable, and bring less of a premium pricewise.

Still, 22 quid is good deal on this pipe.
 

SaxonX

Might Stick Around
Sep 20, 2021
55
150
Staffordshire Moorlands GB
Nice pipe. This was probably made in the early to mid 1990's or later.

Barry Jones had taken on more responsibility for managing the business since Ken Barnes had left, and stummels were being carved by people other than himself.

These were not laser engraved, they were engraved using the same Hermes engraver that they had used since 1983. The "FH" denoting freehand and "4" denoting group size identifies it as coming from that time period ( mid 1990's forward), as they did not do that prior.

The glory days for James Upshall pipes was in the late 1970's - late 1980's. Pipes from that era are more in demand. They were getting the best briar, and Barry was making the stummels. Pipes made after that time are, in the eyes of collectors less desirable, and bring less of a premium pricewise.

Still, 22 quid is good deal on this pipe.
 
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SaxonX

Might Stick Around
Sep 20, 2021
55
150
Staffordshire Moorlands GB
I never thought someone would make a fake Upshall, but I have no other way of explaining this:

As I say, I am no expert, really I know nothing....but the markings on the ebay example are very different to mine - is it fake or is it an earlier example?
 

craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
5,136
39,739
Minnesota USA
I never thought someone would make a fake Upshall, but I have no other way of explaining this:

Technically not a fake Upshall, but more likely a "Moti" special.

Moti Ezrati, who bought the company after it went bankrupt in the late 1990's, was known to stamp stummels not made there with the Upshall banner... thereby taking advantage of the Upshall name.
 

alaskanpiper

Lifer
May 23, 2019
8,469
30,990
Alaska
This is a more recent Upshall as the identifying stamp was laser-engraved. Had you posted this a year ago the man who likely made this pipe might have told you the very date he made it and what he had for lunch that day. Alas, cancer has taken him from us. He was modest and kind, and a genius with briar. Unless he has answered a question like yours in these archives, and he may well have, the knowledge may well otherwise be lost to oblivion for ever.
Wait, what???? Are you talking about Ken Barnes??? He died? Thats AWFUL!

I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about this. His contribution here was so incredible. What a shame.
 

Ag®o

Lifer
Nov 14, 2021
1,217
14,079
Italy
R. I. P. Great Ken...

Speaking of J. U., does anyone know the meaning of an "R" placed to the right of the logo?
 

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Apr 2, 2018
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View attachment 107505View attachment 107506View attachment 107507View attachment 107504I bought this estate pipe at auction just this week on a whim, I thought it would make a good case for a first go at restoration. On doing some research on getting it home, I find they appear to be quite desirable. I can't thought find out about this style or its value or rarity etc. I don't want to accidentally wreck a classic so any advice on whether to restore or leave it as would be appreciated as would any info specific to this model and grade.
Nice piece of wood. I'm happy for you.
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