My New Marxman Bench Made Pipe

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telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
Our good adjudicator, @Briar Lee, has ruminated ad infinitum regarding the outstanding qualities of Pipe by Lee, Briar Lee, and a few other pipes. One particular brand that he mentioned, a brand before until now unknown by yours truly, is Marxman. When he was just twenty-nine years old in 1934, at the start of the Great Depression, Bob Marx left the William Deluth pipe company and started his own manufacturing pipe company, Marxman. His company stuck around for almost two decades and he found a niche manufacturing carved pipes with various faces of celebrities and other mugs as the bowl of the pipe.

Always curious, I started searching for a few Marxman pipes and I found some for sale. Most were in terrible condition; most were overpriced for what they are in my opinion - which doesn't mean much. But be that as it may, I settled on a never smoked Marxman with rough carvings on the stem and the bowl. I think I paid $20 if that. Today, it arrived.

Below are the pictures of the pipe. As you can see, it has never been smoked and has what I would refer to as a "real" stinger. The vulcanite stem seems .... cheap. I don't know why, but it just does. More to the point, the tenon must be a bit off centered because if you twist the stem, it clearly shows that one side is off. It clearly only fits on one way.

I haven't smoked it and it will most likely go to my brother-in-law as a pipe I think he will appreciate - something old and yet new at the same time. How it smokes... I am curious.

So, what do you think? Do any of you have experience with Marxman Pipes.IMG_4484.JPGIMG_4479.JPGIMG_4482.JPGIMG_4483.JPGIMG_4481.JPG
 

burleybreath

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 29, 2019
970
3,363
Finger Lakes area, New York, USA
No experience here. But there was a guy in The Universal Coterie of Pipe Smokers that collected them, and was quite nutty about it, as I recollect. Those pipes reek of the 1950s, in my opinion. Nothing wrong with that; my grandfather had a drawer full of similar briars. The bit looks cheap because it probably is an inferior grade of vulcanite--grainy, high sulphur content rubber. Or whatever it is. Fire it up--it might be good wood and smoke pretty dang well. Let us know how well it lends itself to deep rumination.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
Our good adjudicator, @Briar Lee, has ruminated ad infinitum regarding the outstanding qualities of Pipe by Lee, Briar Lee, and a few other pipes. One particular brand that he mentioned, a brand before until now unknown by yours truly, is Marxman. When he was just twenty-nine years old in 1934, at the start of the Great Depression, Bob Marx left the William Deluth pipe company and started his own manufacturing pipe company, Marxman. His company stuck around for almost two decades and he found a niche manufacturing carved pipes with various faces of celebrities and other mugs as the bowl of the pipe.

Always curious, I started searching for a few Marxman pipes and I found some for sale. Most were in terrible condition; most were overpriced for what they are in my opinion - which doesn't mean much. But be that as it may, I settled on a never smoked Marxman with rough carvings on the stem and the bowl. I think I paid $20 if that. Today, it arrived.

Below are the pictures of the pipe. As you can see, it has never been smoked and has what I would refer to as a "real" stinger. The vulcanite stem seems .... cheap. I don't know why, but it just does. More to the point, the tenon must be a bit off centered because if you twist the stem, it clearly shows that one side is off. It clearly only fits on one way.

I haven't smoked it and it will most likely go to my brother-in-law as a pipe I think he will appreciate - something old and yet new at the same time. How it smokes... I am curious.

So, what do you think? Do any of you have experience with Marxman Pipes.View attachment 101564View attachment 101565View attachment 101567View attachment 101568View attachment 101570
I’m out on my deck jamming to extremely high squally nostril nosed old hillbilly music, and enjoying a new to me Marxman Jumbo B pipe that came today.

Yes, the vulcanite used was crap. Get over it. Take steel wool to it and polish using olive oil. Mine isn’t drilled center, either. Marxman wasn’t Lee, selling the highest dollar and finest production pipes in the world.

But Marxman used top shelf Algerian briar, and he must have also oil cured it.

I’m smoking Hearth and Home Anniversary Krumble Kake and this almost new 75 year old Marxman is an awesome smoker, it just doesn’t look fancy and perfect like a Lee would.

If more people would use the good briar they had back when Kitty Wells was on the Grand Ole Opry, what a wonderful world this would surely be.

I’LL ALWAYS BE YOUR FRAULEIN


I was reading that Dunhill and other high dollar good brands like Lee and Marxman used Algerian briar until the French bombed all the places where the good briar was harvested in Algeria.

It seems some brand named Edwards still uses Algerian briar, but with a good supply of Lee and Marxman pipes there’s no need for extravagances like new pipes.

https://pipedia.org/wiki/Edward's

Smoke that Marxman.

Do it in the dark out on your deck, so you can’t see how homely it is.:)
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
My nephew Mike said a lot of other interesting things. He was a country boy rural Missouri and like they say about country boys, especially those up in the hills, a country boy will survive. Apparently, his one legged step mother offered him a type of salvation he just couldn't bring himself to say no to. But Mike did know a lot about ugly women. Apparently, he knew some other things as well. But whether he knew how ugly a Marxman pipe could be, I can't assure you one way or the other. But as for me, I am here to tell you it is indeed an ugly pipe. But better than a one legged step mother, that I am sure of. Mike on the other hand might take umbrage with that statement.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
My nephew Mike said a lot of other interesting things. He was a country boy rural Missouri and like they say about country boys, especially those up in the hills, a country boy will survive. Apparently, his one legged step mother offered him a type of salvation he just couldn't bring himself to say no to. But Mike did know a lot about ugly women. Apparently, he knew some other things as well. But whether he knew how ugly a Marxman pipe could be, I can't assure you one way or the other. But as for me, I am here to tell you it is indeed an ugly pipe. But better than a one legged step mother, that I am sure of. Mike on the other hand might take umbrage with that statement.
The same God that made native born hillbilly girls so extraordinary beautiful made every one as crazy as Eve talking to a snake and eating that apple that nearly got Adam killed, although he instead just lost the home place.

I’ve heard that if you marry an ugly woman you’ll be happy all your life.

I think that was just some jealous Arkansawyer taking. I’ll bet the ugly ones are just as crazy as ours, anyhow.

If you sent Marxman the same $15 as you did Lee, then Marxman mailed you a beautiful, well polished pipe of Algerian briar. Here’s a high polished $15 grade Jumbo. It has the same low grade vulcanite only highly polished, the stem fit so tight it should be rubbed down with steel wool to fit, and there are some tiny fills.

Pretty women and pretty pipes are expensive.

How pretty, can you afford?

WHEN THE GRASS GROWS OVER ME

Rhonda Vincent, Missouri born 1962


CFF1ECC2-7FEB-4DD6-A149-3B11190F2782.jpeg
 

Toast

Part of the Furniture Now
Feb 15, 2021
660
1,312
UK
I have one Marxman, which I absolutely adore. I got it From Tim West NOS & the listing said he'd redrilled it - so I've no idea if it would have smoked well before.

It's way too big & heavy for me to clench, which is good because the mouthpiece isn't very comfortable. The rose gold band is paper thin & I had to reglue it.

But I think it's stunning (in a Flintstones kind of way) & I can't see myself ever letting it go.

The Four Hundred (yabadabadoo)!
IMG_20211009_133812.jpg
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
There’s an avid marxman fan on IG that’s posted a bunch of his over the years. I’ve never used one but every time I would see him post one, it definitely had that older look. Almost cousins in style to some custombilts.
Custombuilt and Marxman both used top quality Algerian briar, which is soft.

It also comes naturally an orange tan, which application of olive oil darkens.

Lee also must have used Algerian briar, until the middle 1960’s when war in Algeria cut off supplies.

From left to right, late 1940’s new prices.

Pipe Maker (by Lee) $ 2.50???
Lee 7 point Three Star (late 1940’s) $10
Largest size polished Marxman Jumbo $15

Marxman Jumbo B $7.50

F1558CAC-DAF7-4686-B5CC-F6686C31773B.jpeg
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
I have one Marxman, which I absolutely adore. I got it From Tim West NOS & the listing said he'd redrilled it - so I've no idea if it would have smoked well before.

It's way too big & heavy for me to clench, which is good because the mouthpiece isn't very comfortable. The rose gold band is paper thin & I had to reglue it.

But I think it's stunning (in a Flintstones kind of way) & I can't see myself ever letting it go.

The Four Hundred (yabadabadoo)!
View attachment 101635
My understanding is that the four hundred was quite an achievement for Marxman.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
My understanding is that the four hundred was quite an achievement for Marxman.
The $25 Marxman 400 had a gold band and was probably the most expensive pipe in the world in 1945, but it was a special run, in a velvet lined walnut presentation case, and you have to wonder how many were sold in an America with a forty cent minimum wage and all the defense industry shutting down tighter than a liquor store in a Baptist town on Sunday.

About all economists predicted that the fall of Japan and end of the war would mean a return to the Depression. They were all wrong, of course, but folks living in late 1945 didn’t know that, then.

I Also own some stunning Weber post war pipes, all gorgeous and well made baubles, and so very pretty.

Dunhills and Lee Three Stars and Kaywoodie Flame Grains cost $10.

Webers cost about half that.

This is why the existence of all those high dollar Lees and Marxmans is so incredible, they sold them in this market.
09C6ECFA-11FC-4BB4-9D6B-9682FA9005D1.jpeg
 

Toast

Part of the Furniture Now
Feb 15, 2021
660
1,312
UK
My understanding is that the four hundred was quite an achievement for Marxman.
I saw one on an old post here (I think) & really liked it, so it was a bit of a bucket list pipe for me.

I still keep an eye out but there's only been one other listed this year that I'm aware of (it's still up at well over double what I paid for mine).

So thanks for posting this thread - it isn't a pipe I get to show off very often!
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
I saw one on an old post here (I think) & really liked it, so it was a bit of a bucket list pipe for me.

I still keep an eye out but there's only been one other listed this year that I'm aware of (it's still up at well over double what I paid for mine).

So thanks for posting this thread - it isn't a pipe I get to show off very often!
We think of a $25 pipe today, as nothing special.

Even a $5 Kaywoodie Super Grain or Two Star Lee was extravagant in post war America.

The customer could buy decent briar pipes for fifty cents, and a name brand briar pipe was still a dollar, twenty years after the war ended.

50 cent pipes in 1953 Wally Frank Catalog.

6AC8E601-B4BA-4933-93B8-E7697E925983.jpeg

$1 pipes in 1966 Wally Frank catalog.

A9F4C619-2F5A-432D-B4B7-45F3E4DA88B9.jpeg
 

Toast

Part of the Furniture Now
Feb 15, 2021
660
1,312
UK
Adjusted for inflation, I don't know if I'd have paid the $25 it would have cost at the time (with postage I paid the equivalent of about $20).
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
Adjusted for inflation, I don't know if I'd have paid the $25 it would have cost at the time (with postage I paid the equivalent of about $20).

I’m older than Bic lighters.

I’m older than digital pocket calculators.

Im older than disposable razors, too.:)

The first disposable butane lighter, the digital pocket calculator, and the Good News disposable razor all came on the market in the middle 1970s.

All three gadgets were vastly more expensive then, even in nominal dollars, than today.

A disposable razor and a butane lighter both cost a dollar, and the first pocket calculators were $100, then.

Today they sell millions upon millions of them, and completion has not only improved the gadgets but driven down the price.

Wally Frank (through his companies) made a million or more pipes a year.

By 1945 making pipes was long a mature industry.

Minumum wage in New York City was forty cents an hour.

German U boats had quit sinking freighters loaded with about five years worth of Mediterranean briar.

Let’s pretend Marx paid his most skilled craftsmen $1 an hour and he could make even one pipe an hour.

Good briar today is $20 a piece. Then it might have been a dollar, for the very best of the best.

That fancy box and velvet sleeve might have cost another dollar.

Amd he’s paying rent and taxes and overhead in the most expensive address on earth, downtown New York City. Add two dollars.

But he gets $25 for every $5 he spends making a 400.

If he makes and sells a limited run of 100, our man has profited $2,000 on $500 invested.

Meanwhile Wally Frank is making and selling 100,000 pipes a month at an average of a dollar each, and likely spending $20,000 for costs, and profiting $80,000, and paying 95% of that for income tax, if he doesn’t buy race horses or other tax dodge investments.

Pipes sold then for $10 and up, but only to some very particular buyers.

The miracle is we have so many survivors today to buy for a song.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
My Marxman Jumbo B arrived in natural color of Algerian briar, and I’ve been rubbing in olive oil using a paper towel when I think about it.

Here’s why stained pipes are cheaper, and rusticated carved pipes are cheaper than blasted pipes, or smooth pipes.

It takes a very high grade of natural unstained and smooth uncarved briar to show off high dollar grain.

Stain and rusticate it, and it looks better, virtually for free.

17E16DB3-6649-4BF0-95E2-7AAEA08A0E64.jpeg4DE3BF3A-9661-4E94-89B0-3A4859FD4C79.jpeg08822668-870E-402B-A6F6-7086581942AA.jpegC1085142-BEE0-4B6E-82F5-B8C158112591.jpeg9105F051-7235-4D14-BA97-1CAC956516F6.jpegB47BD498-25C4-43B5-80FC-05EB6CB688E9.jpeg