Last One for Me: Wally Frank Collector [Pic Heavy]

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piffyr

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Apr 24, 2015
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I’ve been collecting Wally Frank pipes for a while now. It was the old catalogs that pulled me in. If you’ve never read through one, you should. Wally Frank didn’t sell pipes. They sold stories and it was the stories sold the pipes. So, the last pipe that I’ll be doing for myself for a while is this Wally Frank Collector.
From the catalog description…
“We present these beautiful pipes in a number of unusual shapes for the collector. The shapes have been selected according to popularity from our Pipes of the Month. Made from genuine Corsican Briar Root, these Pipes are finished in a light Sun tan color. Each pipe is hand mounted with a beautiful quality Vulcanite mouthpiece, and equipped with a special double ball dry smoking condenser tube.”
An interesting note is that the words “Corsican Briar Root” were replaced with “North Carolina burl root” during the war years.
Both the Pipe of the Month Club and the Collector series appear to have been discontinued in the early-’60s. This pipe is a perfect match for Weber’s shape #143. So, I’m assuming that the pipe was sold near the tail end of that run. No condenser tube in this one, but some shapes didn’t have them and the tubes may not have been used at all by the time this pipe was made. Instead, the pipe is equipped with a small, hourglass-shaped doohickey made from either some type of wood or bone that has been stained over the years. I honestly can’t tell, even after inspecting it under a 60x loupe.










 

piffyr

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
789
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The natural briar used in this Collector is flawless. No fills whatsoever, which is something of a coupe for a post-war Wally Frank pipe. Its best feature, however, is something that I can’t show in photos.
Chatoyance is a term used in fine wood finishing (and jewelry too, I think) to describe a peculiar, optical feature of some woods. As your viewing angle changes, the grain of chatoyant wood appears to move as well. This creates a 3-D-like effect similar to those holographic baseball cards and the like. It looks like you’re seeing into the wood, just below the surface. Very, very cool.
I’ve seen chatoyance many times in other woods, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in briar. The effect is most evident in the cross grain along the bottom, but it can be seen to varying degrees over the entire pipe. I wish that I could show it, but I think the pipe still looks pretty damn good without it.











Specs:

Weight: 26g / 0.9 oz.

Length: 131mm / 5.16 in.

Bowl height: 40mm / 1.57 in.

Bowl width: 32mm / 1.25 in.

Chamber diameter: 19mm / .75 in.

Chamber depth: 32mm / 1.25 in.

 

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mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
4,759
1,621
That is definitely my favorite of the ones you've recently posted. That is a beautiful pipe and a beautiful pipe.

 

agnosticpipe

Preferred Member
Nov 3, 2013
2,693
327
Another great restoration! Beautiful shape and grain. Sounds like the grain will follow you around the room like the eyes on those 3D cards! :lol:

I do know what you're talking about though. I have a pipe or two that I feel the grain shows a lot of depth, and one of them is a Polish made Worobiec. Crazy birds eye grain!

Keep up the good work. Love seeing these pipes you restore!

 

piffyr

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
789
71
Probably should have just done this to start with instead of trying to describe it, but...
Chatoyance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_laRR95IZac

 

piffyr

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
789
71
@spartacus -- Primarily, my work is for clients. The pipes I've shown over the last few days are mine and specifically chosen to allow me to test a couple of techniques. It's not a good idea to experiment with pipes you don't own. However, I've been talking with a collector about helping him restore and move some old, Brit wood pipes. So, time will tell.

 

samuelgawith01

Preferred Member
Apr 2, 2018
673
391
Great restoration to a great piece of wood.My first pipe was a Wally Frank house pipe from their shop in Huntington,Long Island.In fact,I’m smoking a Wally Frank Cutty as I hunt and peck this entry.Another fine piece of work from the 60’s.Keep it up.You really did a fine job!

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,885
561
I’ve been collecting Wally Frank pipes for a while now
YOU had me at hello! OMG, I love your pipes and the way you present that passion. Please never stop posting these beauties.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,885
561
I collect rare Wally Frank junk. Here is a pic from a 1968 catalog. I think your pipe is at the bottom. Maybe I'm full of crap though?


 

piffyr

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
789
71
I collect rare Wally Frank junk. Here is a pic from a 1968 catalog. I think your pipe is at the bottom. Maybe I'm full of crap though?
Ah! So you're the guy that I'm always bidding against on that stuff!
Certainly not full of crap, but not correct either. Compare those shapes closely and you'll see that they don't really match. The Macauley is a little taller in the bowl and a little slimmer in the shank. As far as I'm aware, the Macauley pipes were also always British-made. Charatan, maybe? The Collector is definitely Weber's #143.
By the way, if you like WF ephemera the way I do, maybe you'll enjoy this piece from 1941...

One letter that says so much about both the American pipe industry and world events at the time. It's my favorite little bit of WF history.

 

snagstangl

Preferred Member
Jul 1, 2013
1,213
80
I think the condenser is bone. I think it was used during WWII. I had a yello bole from the mid thirties that came to me unsmoked and it had the same condenser that confused me for years. Somewhere in the last 48 hours I saw something in old print that showed that condenser and said it was bone, but I can't remember where I saw it.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,885
561
One letter that says so much about both the American pipe industry and world events at the time.
So cool!
And I don't actually own any Wally Frank pieces, I just collect reprints and stories in a file. There is so much history with him. He was the O.G.

 

piffyr

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
789
71
@snagstangl -- Could be. I've seen made of both wood and bone condensers. I can't tell which it is, but I know it's something organic. I think it's an aftermarket addition, rather than something that was original to the pipe. The fit isn't really what it should be.

 
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