My New Marxman Bench Made Pipe

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telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
I know there are devotees of the style, but I can't abide the crude rustication.
Devotes of the style?

Seriously?

The style sucks. I hate it. I absolutely deplore this style.

It is like saying middle schoolers are actually artist because they can turn on a machine that nicks the surface of a briar.

But.... given that these pipes were so crudely made, for whatever reason, and given, that these pipes are what they are and what they are is a piece of our pipe history,

...... okay, I pick up a few to my collection.

But....

To say there are actual devotees to this style is to say that one, as an analogy, could say there are devotees to Chef Boyardee Spaghetti Ohs and that that these devotees have a type of class...

No... is my answer.
 

Toast

Part of the Furniture Now
Feb 15, 2021
659
1,310
UK
I dunno, I think I'd prefer to be described as tasteless than classless (but both are probably all too true)!

Though I'm probably not really a devotee...

I can totally understand if you've only got one bookshelf wanting to fill it with, say, Elizabethan playwrights - but me, I want Ford Madox Ford, a bit of OULIPO, Jack Vance, Epictetus, Rochester, some fairy tales, &c..

But the bottom line, I guess, is that I do really like how (some) Marxmans look. & those would probably be the middle schooler ones.

Switching analogy, they're not a Saville Row Suit, but I think Jeremy Scott & Castelbajac are also pretty awesome!
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
I deplore, your hate, of the rough rustication style. Take That! But go copy it, have you tried rusticating a pipe? It make take more skill than you are imagining.
LOL, I have some natural skill when it comes to working with wood. Am I a Jack Howell? No, I am not, but then again, I don’t work in the pipe making industry. But Marx did work in it and he chose to create his own pipes to sell to the public. Perhaps his pipes were inspired by Henri Matisse?
 
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anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
15,538
29,111
45
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
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.
Though pipe smoking was way more popular or common back then. Heck old pictures have more pipe smokers per capita then you find now. So it makes sense that there would be lots of old pipes around to be had.
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
41,210
60,419
I look at the rustication on factory pipes of the pre-fifties era in context, as designed to be churned out for working men at a price they could afford. It's somewhat like looking at the 1950's VW bug or the American Motors Gremlin at the antique car auction. They are not the glory of high end factory pipes or certainly of artisan pipe makers who might spend a month bringing pipe to completion, like a hand built sports coupe. They are more like most arrowheads or sharks teeth, something with a purpose that filled its place and need. In that way, to some people, they have an elegance and dignity in their own way.
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
i think some of them where sold as something to pass down or at least the last pipe you buy
I am sure some were marketed that way for sure. But judging how most were treated or smoked and knowing that most of them never made it too far into the future, my guess is that most people saw a pipe as a consumable. Which is what it was.

However, looking at the craftsmanship from some pipes, it is clear that there were pipes that were made to last or be able to get some milage under their belt.

This Pipe by Lee that I am cleaning up as I type. It is clear to me that the smoker never intended this pipe to get very far in terms of longevity. It is a tar ridden disaster that is really an annoyance to clean up.

But compare it to a Dunhill that is much older, the dye and stain on the Dunhill still shines as if it was put on yesterday.
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
15,538
29,111
45
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I am sure some were marketed that way for sure. But judging how most were treated or smoked and knowing that most of them never made it too far into the future, my guess is that most people saw a pipe as a consumable. Which is what it was.

However, looking at the craftsmanship from some pipes, it is clear that there were pipes that were made to last or be able to get some milage under their belt.

This Pipe by Lee that I am cleaning up as I type. It is clear to me that the smoker never intended this pipe to get very far in terms of longevity. It is a tar ridden disaster that is really an annoyance to clean up.

But compare it to a Dunhill that is much older, the dye and stain on the Dunhill still shines as if it was put on yesterday.
i swear i've seen ads for pipes that bragged about the longevity out lasting the buyer
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,617
13,485
Humansville Missouri
Since last visiting this thread, I have added four more Marxman Pipes to my collection, all of them unsmoked. I have also come to Relax my view on the genre’s rustication technique. I’ll post pictures of the pipes later today.
Let’s talk a minute about 75 year old, unsmoked pipes.

In 1990 or thereabouts my first father in law bought a hobby farm on the Little Niangua River. The closest store was at Lead Mine.


The Lead Mine store still exists today, much expanded, and owned by some of the Mennonites that have more or less bought up every farm in area as it came up for sale.

The owner in 1990 was a very pleasant sixtysomething old maid schoolteacher named Marie. She’d outlived her parents who’d ran that store since right after World War One, when they’d taken over from her father’s parents.

There used to be quite a few multigenerational general merchandise stores in Missouri. The last one I know of know is in Freeburg.

That old Lead Mine store in it’s heyday also featured live music on Saturday nights and my mother had sang there during the 1940s, and then later known Marie at teacher’s meetings. When I told Marie I was the son of Miss Lois, she thereafter granted me about free run of the old store.

There was old in inventory in that store dating back before World War One. The attics were crammed with inventory. She had sheds outside full of unsold old new articles.

One thing I learned then, I’ve not forgotten.

It didn’t sell because something new came along better. For the most part it was obsolete brand new old junk, nobody wanted.

One day I came in and Marie had a brand new old Grand Duke bulldog Dr Grabow.

She said would like this pipe for whatever the highest priced Grabow was on her rack?

I surely did.

She said she was cleaning behind the desk where the Grabow rack used to sit and found it.

It’s not all that ancient, I’d guess 1950s.

I think most lower end factory pipes are old, unsold inventory of stores.

Marie had a gentleman friend, who had ancient parents in their 90s.

Finally they had the grace to die, so he could marry Marie, and they sold out to the Mennonites and lived happily ever after.

Sometime in my travels I’ll go to Lead Mine and ask what happened to Marie’s hoard of old inventory.

My friend JC says the place is modern as can be now.

But old store inventory hoarders, can’t explain brand new mail order pipes.

But I have another theory on those.

Those were gifts from women to the men they’d set their bonnet to get, or else already caught.
 
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telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
That 25 dollar pipe is one ugly hunk of wood...IMHO, of course.
If you think that pipe is ugly... take a look at this one.

IMG_5587.jpegIMG_5588.jpeg
This Third Generation Three Star Lee @Briar Lee is one ugly pipe. I imagine it remained unsmoked because the poor man who was given it as a gift couldn't bring himself to actually spend time breaking it in. LOL.
 
Mar 13, 2020
2,752
26,761
missouri