Opinions Sought: Savinelli Punto Oro

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fnord

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2011
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Topeka, KS
I'm welcoming all input on the Savinelli Punto Oro series of burners.
If I remember correctly, there was a time, not that long ago, when they were sought after and valued. However, the Sav Estella line seems to be the hot hand at this moment. I just want to know if the Punto Oro series provides a comparable smoke.
Thanks.
Fnord

 

robski

New member
Aug 30, 2013
16
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My understanding was that the Estella line was pretty low in the Savinelli line up, where as the Punto oro was just one down from the Autographs

 

pipestud

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Dec 6, 2012
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Robinson, TX.
The Estella original handmade line (no longer being produced) was actually a very nice pipe with deep and very craggy hand carving. That is why they command such high prices when being offered at auction. Many believe (and I am in this camp), that the Estella was Savinelli's answer to the Castello Sea Rock. I always thought the bits were a little thick but otherwise, very well put together.
The Punto Oro line, in my opinion, is all over the map regards quality and workmanship. I've seen some real beauties and I've seen others that had me scratching my head as to how they made the Punto Oro grade.
Generally speaking, whether hand made or machine made, Savinelli pipes are great buys as the wood is always of good quality.
Pipestud

 

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fnord

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2011
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Topeka, KS
I appreciate the feedback, guys.
Roth: I knew you liked the Punto Oro line and I was hoping you'd answer. Your pipe is killer and everything I like in a burner: older than dirt, lovely grained and billiard shaped. I'd like to be able to differentiate between the old and the new but am clueless how to date them.
Steve: Thank you for weighing in. I've got an Estella that Roth and Bradley - Mon Cher Cajun - coached me into buying. "Thirty bucks for a junk store pipe? Are you guys effing with me?" Of course, it's become a pipe I want to reach for every day. Your Punto Oro comments have now made me guarded about every P.O. auction and sale I've got my MkII eyeballs locked on.
Robski: I was under the impression that the Estellas were flawed blocks of briar that didn't make the Autograph gate cut. You've run across something different so would you please share it with me? Thank you, too, for stepping up and welcome to the forums, pard.
Fnord

 

captainsousie

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Aug 1, 2012
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Love my old Punto Oro bulldog. It was my second pipe, first resto and is still in my regular rotation right next to my Estella. You will, however, want to skip the Punto Oro Mister G pipes. They are a shadow of the older line.

 

ssjones

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May 11, 2011
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Weren't they just under the Guibileo D'Oro grade?

Older Autographs have no filter vulcaniteSt EMT, G'DOros as well. Modern Autographs have acrylic filter stems. I'm not sure if this also applies to the Punto line?

 

robski

New member
Aug 30, 2013
16
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Robski: I was under the impression that the Estellas were flawed blocks of briar that didn't make the Autograph gate cut. You've run across something different so would you please share it with me?
Reading the other contributions is fascinating, it makes me wonder whether the Estellas that were on the UK market were different to elsewhere. My recollection of them is that they were sold very cheaply especially when compared to a Punto Oro or Autograph.
On the other hand, its possible that years of smoking 1792 has just rotted my brain!

 

pdmus

Member
Apr 5, 2011
233
0
Santa Monica, CA
I just got a Punto Oro full bent billiard, ebay. After a bit of work on the stem and bowl polish I am having my first smoke. My fav shape, smokes great!

 

gambit88

Senior Member
Jan 25, 2015
341
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I have one and like it. My only issue is that mine is kind of heavy. Its a large pipe though.

 

seacaptain

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Apr 24, 2015
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I have a GDO and it's my favorite pipe. My understanding is the Punto Oro line is slotted just below the GDO. I would expect them to be excellent pipes.

 

swilford

Member
May 30, 2010
149
197
Little River, SC
There's a fair bit of confusion on Punto Oro, in part because they've varied a whole lot over the years. I've seen older Punto Oro pipes from the 1970s and 1980s that would never make the cut today. I've also seen older Punto Oros that are just jaw dropping and would maybe be Giubileo d'Oro today. So, it's not a better then or better now situation, so much as what the series means (from a grading perspective) is narrower now than it was thirty years ago. So you see a whole range of prices for Punto Oros on the estate market (hell, there's a huge range just on SPC) since there's a lot of variety in what Punto Oro meant over the decades.
Presently, the Punto Oros made are as follows:
Punto Oro -- two stems (one vulcanite, one acrylic), 6mm, generally no longer available in the US. Very good quality; fairly expensive; occasional problems with fit on second stem (it's almost impossible to get stem fit right without making the pipe and stem together; since you can't do that for two stems, one of them will fit less well almost by definition).
Punto Oro Classic -- slightly less expensive than Punto Oro, with one stem. Non-filter. Same wood grade and whatnot as above. Available in 'Natural' (a sort of very light brown contrast) and Bordeaux.
Punto Oro Petite -- See Classic, but for the smaller shapes like the 202 and 402. Available in finishes for Classic, plus sandblast.
Punto Oro Churchwarden -- See Classic, but for churchwarden length stems.
Punto Oro Gold -- A notch below the rest of the Punto Oro line, but really nice and significantly less expensive. 6mm filter. Available in an orange/brown smooth and a sandblast.
You'll see other grades available new from time to time: Corallo, EX blasts, Mr. G, and blasts with silver army mounts. These are all not in current production, but there are some new from factory pipes still out there (Savinelli did some reorganization of space and clean up and found a bunch of old bits and pieces in the past three years).
So, how does Punto Oro fit into the line:
Savinelli grades the classic shape bowls into six groups to start, ranging from unusable bowls at the bottom, through bowls used for Vittoria, through the mainline Savinelli lines, up to top quality. This top quality bucket (which is pretty tiny) gets sorted again into three different groups to become various Punto Oro and Giubileo d'Oro grades.
Savinelli Autographs have a different path completely. They're freehand shapes instead of predefined shapes, so they have their own grading and progression: things like Rossi Free at the bottom, moving up to things like Artisan, into the Sandblasted Autographs, then to the smooth Autographs. It's more complicated than that (because smaller ones become Sigla or Mignon) and wilder ones become Autograph Freestyle or Mr. A, but that's the general pattern).
So, you can't really compare Punto Oro or Giubileo d'Oro to Autograph: they're yielded by two totally different processes, and both sit atop their respective group.
As a collector, I'm kind of a huge fan of Punto Oro and Giubileo d'Oro. I have maybe five 105 shapes and a couple 202 shapes in a number of Punto and Giubileo finishes. I personally really like classic shapes and I really like the stains and quality of the work present on both series. They are more pricey than much of the Savinelli line, but I definitely think they're worth it.
As for Estella, they were quasi-Autograph seconds in the 1970s and 1980s, filling a spot that Rossi Free does now. They're cool and have their following, but comparisons to Punto Oro are pretty much impossible to make since they're just too different.
Best,
Sykes

 

fitzy

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2012
2,934
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NY
Thank you very much Sykes.
I've been very very interested in Punto Oro and Giubileo d'Oro for some time now. So I'm always watching your site for what comes up in those categories. I wasn't sure if they were handmade or just exceptional machine made pipes that popped up.
I saw a petite 105 Punto Oro on your site last week that had what appeared to be really nice ring grain on it but I dragged my feet to long.
Also I've been eyeing a sand blasted 920 Giubileo D'oro and drooling over it for months now. I'd buy it but my wife would kill me. Maybe for my birthday if it's still there. I've haven't owned either a Punto Oro or Giubileo d'Oro yet.

 
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