My Frankenstein Pipe (long post)

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peregrinus

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2019
317
319
Seattle
My Frankenstein Pipe

As I remember the issue was that the proprietor preferred to sell the entire tray of 10 estate pipes as a lot, and I didn’t have that much cash. Besides, all I really wanted was the big Dunhill in the tray. It was the early 1990’s and I was looking over the pipes for sale in one the of the last of the small smoke shops that used to be in the lobbies of so many older buildings.

Across the counter the owner was showing me a group of mostly nondescript estate pipes he wanted to sell. One in particular did standout, a very clean Dunhill ODA Dublin, a nice blast 848 shape. Once he understood I would not be buying the entire lot he changed horses and decided he wanted me to buy a very strange looking estate Savinelle Capri, a pipe he had priced at $40.00. Seeing the look on my face he quickly added that I could pick one of the other pipes I wanted from the estate tray and he would then “give me a good deal”.

I pointed to the Dunhill and asked what he wanted for the pair.

He answered, “$60.00 for the pair”.

“Ah... well, okay” I said and we shook hands. I felt a little bit guilty about that deal.

The Dunhill was, is, big and beautiful and a great smoker, but that Savinelle, well to my eye, it was not a very good-looking pipe. To its credit it did have an extremely deep, craggy sea-rock type of finish. But, it had a strange orange-tan stain and the shape was weird, a straight sided barrel, like a poker, but with an very wide, flattened oval shaped shank that was long enough that it could be a Canadian, but then, for some reason, Savinelle had attached a much to long saddle stem with an odd 1/8 bend. It was a fever dream of opposing design ideas, sewn together into a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster of a pipe. Still, I cleaned them both up with the idea the Savinelle would at least make a good “yard pipe”, a pipe you could take outside when weeding, in the rain or whatever and if something did happen to it, well, so what?

Twenty-eight years and several hundred pipes later I figure I have smoked the Savinelle fifty times for every one time I’ve smoked that ODA. I think that the Savinelle will likely be one of the last pipes I will ever let go. I doubt it has any real value on the estate market and I don’t know if anyone else would understand it anyway.

Cheers

 

weezell

Preferred Member
Oct 12, 2011
9,957
2,738
This is a pic of the FrankenMeer. Poor guy has been patched, tried to be cut in half and the list goes on. But, I love it and it still smoke like a dream...
Still has its Amber stem... :D

 

hugodrax

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2013
313
26
When I was young and poor simultaneously (the best way to do it), I used to search out old Comoy’s and a Barlings and Dunhill Pipes with obvious repair work. Not only were those in my price range (the amount of booze consumed in law school left very little left over for luxuries), I reasoned that anybody that repaired these things was doing it because they were great smokers. Didn’t always work, but the success rate was high enough I continued to do it even after earning a decent wage.

 

peregrinus

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2019
317
319
Seattle
weezel,

Wow, that pipe of yours obviously has a history.

If you don't mind I might show that photo to my Savinelle Capri...it just might make it feel a little better.
hugodrax,

At the time of this story I also sought out older and sullied Dunhills, Parkers, Comoys, Barlings and Charatans.

I was working two jobs then, but as busy as I was I still had more time than money, so I got fairly good at rehabilitating pipes. I still have a couple dozen or so big pipes in the garage that I never got around to working on. One time I bought 60 pipes from a ship's caption, that was about 30 years ago. He skippered a ship regularly between Seattle and Alaska, puffing all the way there and back again. He would smoke a pipe for 4 months and then toss it in a box and start over again with a new pipe once the cake was choking off the bowl.
Cheers

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,988
1,690
I'm always reassuring people that the cosmetic flaws in their pipes may not count for much, case in point.