My New Marxman Bench Made Pipe

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telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
As a side note, I was just speaking with Rich Messineo at Briarville and I asked him his thoughts on Lee Pipes. He liked them a lot, due mostly to the thickness of the briar and how it seemed to not burn out or get too hot. I concur. My experience has been similar. They are a good piece of briar to be sure - not so beautiful - but hardy.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
If you think that pipe is ugly... take a look at this one.

View attachment 156437View attachment 156438
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.
My attention is riveted to my television, but oh wow, oh wow, what a find!

Reminds me of a Packardbaker!



There had to be the last Lee.

Is that the one?
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
I am curious @Briar Lee , have you seen many lees with that lazy type carving. The top of the rim is carved nutty as well. I was disappointed to say the least when I received the pipe.
None.

I have a really nice, 5 point star era Bullmoose that’s carved.

That pipe is probably the “newest” stamped star I’ve seen.

Is that gold foil pressed in the stamped stars?

The overall workmanship is beyond horrible.
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
None.

I have a really nice, 5 point star era Bullmoose that’s carved.

That pipe is probably the “newest” stamped star I’ve seen.

Is that gold foil pressed in the stamped stars?

The overall workmanship is beyond horrible.
Yes, the foil is pressed in. One of the stars, the last one, started to loose a bit of foil.

When I received the pipe, I was really disappointed. The carvings are rough, not smooth, jagged lines and angular movements. The stinger is a simple post with what can only be described as a penis like head on it. Sorry for the imagery, but it really is unlike any other Lee stinger I've seen. Of course, it is a push in tenon. The outside has a lacquer like finish. Really, this pipe could have been one that saw the factory floor as it was being packed up. For a Three Star Lee, she doesn't really say much for the brand. I have a three star seven pointed first generation Lee that is in good shape - I wouldn't call it a bull moose as much as maybe a squat pot. I am curious if we are thinking about the same shape. NONE of my three star Lees, and I have them from all three generations, could ever belong in the same category as the one I pictured above. Seriously, this pipe was made after quality control was laid off.

For what it is worth, the pipe has never been smoked and the gold foil on the first two stars could have passed for second generation Lee pipe stars. But I know they are not.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
Yes, the foil is pressed in. One of the stars, the last one, started to loose a bit of foil.

When I received the pipe, I was really disappointed. The carvings are rough, not smooth, jagged lines and angular movements. The stinger is a simple post with what can only be described as a penis like head on it. Sorry for the imagery, but it really is unlike any other Lee stinger I've seen. Of course, it is a push in tenon. The outside has a lacquer like finish. Really, this pipe could have been one that saw the factory floor as it was being packed up. For a Three Star Lee, she doesn't really say much for the brand. I have a three star seven pointed first generation Lee that is in good shape - I wouldn't call it a bull moose as much as maybe a squat pot. I am curious if we are thinking about the same shape. NONE of my three star Lees, and I have them from all three generations, could ever belong in the same category as the one I pictured above. Seriously, this pipe was made after quality control was laid off.

For what it is worth, the pipe has never been smoked and the gold foil on the first two stars could have passed for second generation Lee pipe stars. But I know they are not.
I think years ago a whole lot more cheap junk was for sale than today. If you tried buying such a badly made new pipe today I don’t think you could find one.

The tragedy of that Lee pipe was it filled an order that might have been from a repeat customer.

That was a three star Lee, an expensive pipe..

No Grabow I’ve ever seen was that bad.

Even the box was crappy.

Early Lees came in luxurious matching Star graded boxes with silk sleeves also Star graded.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
An update, I done gone and bought myself another Marxman.:)

892B7BF1-D346-492B-9777-690653373C7A.jpeg9A5CFAB1-6384-4601-9341-3ED75FF4586E.jpegE4B424B4-B723-4F4B-BA6C-49EB8E2D785C.jpeg199C61E8-9AB9-4054-9A4F-787C258596D1.jpegD3C995D8-9C95-4B0B-9181-DDDCDBC954E8.jpeg

Notice how well the above pipe cleaned up. I’ve taken a $15 pipe and turned it into a $20 pipe using only Everclear, 4/0 steel wool, a pocket knife, five pipe cleaners, and grapeseed oil in only ten minutes.:)

DEA773C7-7EAF-4370-8349-E8FBAFDE62B0.jpeg7155C1BC-DC47-403A-AA3F-3BD82F56587F.jpeg

This Marxman was very poorly constructed, but well finished.

The draft hole is way off center, it’s too high, there are machine marks in the bottom of the bowl, and the stem is loose. Beeswax fixed the stem and a badly drilled draft hole only hurts my feelings, not the smoking.

But in smoking it, I was pleasantly surprised to find it’s not only an excellent smoker,,,it’s a different smoker.

Pipes by Lee, especially when fresh, are also different smokers. I’ve always attributed that to Lee’s proprietary curing process, whether it was oil or some other magic. A Lee tastes sweet. Sweeter new than when older, but after a hundred Lees, I can swear I can taste the difference.

But a Marxman is the other direction. Whether it was Algerian briar or the cure, I dug out a couple of other old pre 1953 Marxman pipes from my stash and they have that same tart, sour, delightful taste as my new Marxman.

Haddo’s Delight is a puckering delight using a Marxman.

My Smoker’s Pride Cherry Cavendish is transformed from smoking cotton candy to a wonderful, rich, fermented, experience.

I only have three Marxman pipes, but one was new old stock.

There’s fourth Marxman on the way, a 6 1/2 inch Handmade Jumbo, only $30 delivered.

3ABEEC98-6707-4B54-A6C8-B12B046792C0.jpeg9E3667EB-896A-4919-AE56-564738EC689D.jpeg

One thing I’ve noticed about an elderly Marxman. None of my three were stained much, if at all. They appeared to be natural Algerian briar when new.

Just one application of grapeseed oil darkens them dramatically.

Marx knew that. I’ll bet he banned oil from the factory floor, to show off his supply of Algerian briar.

Accumulating old American factory smokers is fun, and it sure don’t cost much, you know?
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
This $20 delivered price Marxman Super Briar came in the mail today. It cleaned up to new, even the inside of the bowl was bare brown after a little bit of work with a pocket knife and steel wool.

I'm not claiming this is the best pipe I've ever smoked, but I've never smoked any pipe one tiny bit any better.


Please don't ever try and convince me that briar quality doesn't matter. It doesn't look very pretty, but it smokes as pretty as any pipe ever could, if you tried ten thousand of them.


Marxman Super Briar.jpg
 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
9,964
31,847
34
Burlington WI
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've been thoroughly enjoying your posts of late. I like the classic look of the older pipes. These Marxman's ARE truly an ugly specimen of a pipe. Yet intriguing all the same. Did you ever give this one to your BIL? Or smoke it yourself?

And then when you compared them to a Grabow, I got a little disappointed. But not shocked. I totally understand that comparison. Sometimes you can just tell by pictures.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
I've been thoroughly enjoying your posts of late. I like the classic look of the older pipes. These Marxman's ARE truly an ugly specimen of a pipe. Yet intriguing all the same. Did you ever give this one to your BIL? Or smoke it yourself?

And then when you compared them to a Grabow, I got a little disappointed. But not shocked. I totally understand that comparison. Sometimes you can just tell by pictures.
I’m changing my mind about Marxman.

His pipes weren’t homely because he scrimped making pretty pipes, they were as pretty as smooth Algerian briar pipes could be made.

He competed toe to toe with Kaywoodie, and later Lee, on price. Marxman pipes were never cheap.

Marx used better tasting briar, he surely did.
 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
9,964
31,847
34
Burlington WI
I’m changing my mind about Marxman.

His pipes weren’t homely because he scrimped making pretty pipes, they were as pretty as smooth Algerian briar pipes could be made.

He competed toe to toe with Kaywoodie, and later Lee, on price. Marxman pipes were never cheap.

Marx used better tasting briar, he surely did.
Yes you can tell Marxman, Lees, Kaywoodie and grabow, all competed at one point or another. Lol

Better tasting briar? Better than.....Lees?????

And you mean better tasting while smoked right? You don't like....lick em do you? Lol🤔
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
I've been thoroughly enjoying your posts of late. I like the classic look of the older pipes. These Marxman's ARE truly an ugly specimen of a pipe. Yet intriguing all the same. Did you ever give this one to your BIL? Or smoke it yourself?

And then when you compared them to a Grabow, I got a little disappointed. But not shocked. I totally understand that comparison. Sometimes you can just tell by pictures.
I have not given the pipe to my brother, yet. He got drunk before Christmas and decided to send me some drunkin' text. My response was to cancel my flight to see him. Yes, he was drunk, unfortunately, that was a clear signal that he wasn't getting better.

Okay, comparing the pipes to Grabow might have been imprudent in that Grabow really didn't possess the imagination and the sheer freedom to do all sorts of weird things to briar that Marxman did.

And yet, Marxman made many pipes targeted to the same consumers.

Where Marxman meets artistry is at the point that he allowed his carvers to explore their curiosities and whims. There are some STRANGE Marxman pipes out there - some that simply defy any rhyme or reason as to what the artist was thinking.

Of course. These pipes are expressions of their times.

Look at the many faces, hands, feet, and juxtapositions of smooth and rusticated walls of opposing sides of pipe briar colliding in ways that make you think the carver to be a mad man.

Anyone who follows Marxman pipes knows what I am talking about.

I have a Marxman Royal that simply defies classification. I have no idea what the carver was thinking.IMG_6305.jpegIMG_6304.jpeg
You see the gold band, the nice saddle stem, and the a mess of what?

It doesn't matter. Relax... It is a Marxman.

Why wouldn't you want a Marxman in your collection. Marxman was cool when cool wasn't even cool.

Marxman is the Jazz Carver of Pipes from the 30s-40s. They actually smoke well. And...oddly enough, they are such that you can indeed take them out lunking publicly and people will stop you in the streets and say nice things about your pipe.

If you are smoking a Marxman, you are a man of distinction.

Okay, I am not Briar Lee. I don't want everyone to go out and buy a Marxman.

In fact, please don't.

I am a madman. I have no idea what I am talking about and you need to prove me wrong by ignoring everything I just wrote.

But to my good friend, @didimauw , I sense you see the truth.

Go ahead. Buy one. There are several on Ebay right now worth looking at and if I didn't have so many unsmoked Marxmans, I might be tempted myself.
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
Here are some very weird examples that showcase the uniqueness that was Marxman.





 
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didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
9,964
31,847
34
Burlington WI
I have not given the pipe to my brother, yet. He got drunk before Christmas and decided to send me some drunkin' text. My response was to cancel my flight to see him. Yes, he was drunk, unfortunately, that was a clear signal that he wasn't getting better.

Okay, comparing the pipes to Grabow might have been imprudent in that Grabow really didn't possess the imagination and the sheer freedom to do all sorts of weird things to briar that Marxman did.

And yet, Marxman made many pipes targeted to the same consumers.

Where Marxman meets artistry is at the point that he allowed his carvers to explore their curiosities and whims. There are some STRANGE Marxman pipes out there - some that simply defy any rhyme or reason as to what the artist was thinking.

Of course. These pipes are expressions of their times.

Look at the many faces, hands, feet, and juxtapositions of smooth and rusticated walls of opposing sides of pipe briar colliding in ways that make you think the carver to be a mad man.

Anyone who follows Marxman pipes knows what I am talking about.

I have a Marxman Royal that simply defies classification. I have no idea what the carver was thinking.View attachment 195823View attachment 195824
You see the gold band, the nice saddle stem, and the a mess of what?

It doesn't matter. Relax... It is a Marxman.

Why wouldn't you want a Marxman in your collection. Marxman was cool when cool wasn't even cool.

Marxman is the Jazz Carver of Pipes from the 30s-40s. They actually smoke well. And...oddly enough, they are such that you can indeed take them out lunking publicly and people will stop you in the streets and say nice things about your pipe.

If you are smoking a Marxman, you are a man of distinction.

Okay, I am not Briar Lee. I don't want everyone to go out and buy a Marxman.

In fact, please don't.

I am a madman. I have no idea what I am talking about and you need to prove me wrong by ignoring everything I just wrote.

But to my good friend, @didimauw , I sense you see the truth.

Go ahead. Buy one. There are several on Ebay right now worth looking at and if I didn't have so many unsmoked Marxmans, I might be tempted myself.
You literally described everything I couldn't think to say!

They're just....so.....wierd! 😂
 
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telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
I wish we saw more Marxman Pipes on WAYS threads.

Lee pipes are fine and everything. But they rarely venture out of the realm of Middle Class Suburbia.

Marxman was born in Greenwich Village or the Latin Quarter. Or the backwoods of Mississippi.

Who knows.

But regardless, Marxman had the courage to put a lifetime guarantee on his pipes.

I have some with the original certificates.

Imagine if his company was around today.

Why, they would be just like Peronelli Pipes.

Think I am kidding. Check out their offerings.
 
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