Pipes Never Smoked Down to the Bottom

Log in

SmokingPipes.com Updates

New Cigars
3 Fresh Jared Coles Pipes
96 Fresh Peterson Pipes
72 Fresh Savinelli Pipes
9 Fresh BriarWorks Pipes

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Drucquers Banner

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Tobacco Treasures Ad

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,644
3,502
Humansville Missouri
Yes, you got it because my wife distracted me at the time of end of bidding. Not happy.
One of the joys of accumulating Lee Star Grade pipes is that natural finish, 7 pointed star, large, barely smoked Three Star billiard is at the very top of the heap of value and desirability for a Lee pipe.

This darkly stained large stamped star era Dublin, also barely smoked, is nearly at the bottom. Only if it had a push stem, would it be cheaper.

863e16eb-81a7-47b7-99f3-af020015ad9b-jpeg.153718
The last Lee had oil cured, extremely densely grained briar.

By then, a Kaywoodie was just another drug store pipe on the rack.
 

Attachments

  • 863E16EB-81A7-47B7-99F3-AF020015AD9B.jpeg
    863E16EB-81A7-47B7-99F3-AF020015AD9B.jpeg
    113.1 KB · Views: 92

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,644
3,502
Humansville Missouri
View attachment 153719You won your pipe. I just won this one. A three star unsmoked Lee. Touche
That’s a large saddle bit Apple (or Lovat) in tan.

2BA749E5-45D7-49BA-ABC3-3483F9751D51.jpegDEEC7D57-90FC-4495-B635-B3301B513B17.jpeg909CFDD7-5A1B-4AB6-96AE-A4D7EAB9087E.jpegThe workmanship on all Lee Star Grades was flawless.

A curiousity about Lee pipes is all were marked A LIMITED EDITION

Yet there’s no shape number, no serial number, and no date codes. You’ll see that large saddle bit Apple in all three eras, stained dark or tan (Two, Three, and Four Star options) or left natural (All Five Stars are natural)


What I think made them Limited Editions were different stingers.

Lees seldom have exactly the same stinger as another, yet all interchange.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,644
3,502
Humansville Missouri
Ok, maybe we need some help staying on track here. @Briar Lee does that pipe smoke all the way down to the bottom for you?
It did the first dozen or two times I smoked it, but seldom since.:)

I own close to a hundred Lee Star Grades, and they are mostly in my office, but in all my vehicles, my home, garage, and in both campers at my farm. I’ve lost count.

When I get a Lee I’ll always clean it up and ream it out (unless it’s unsmoked) and then smoke it all the way down a dozen or two times, until I can’t taste any briar.

Lee oil cured his briar with some kind of sweet oil, so that the briar taste on a new Lee pipe is delicious, but of course I still have to be careful to break them in all the way down, same as common pipes.

After initial break in, I’ll smoke a Lee until it’s down so far it’s no longer as good as it was when first lit, and odds are I can just flick the pipe upside down and the dottle ball falls out in an ashtray. The pipe will be bone dry, and I try to wet a paper towel and twist in in the bowl when it’s still hot, leaving only enough oily carbon build up to say there is just enough cake to say there is some.

I smoke an awful amount of candy flavored aromatics in my Lees.

But I baby my pipes so much, and rotate between them so often, I shouldn’t be able to hurt a single one of them, during my time loving them. After that some other pipe smoker should enjoy them, hopefully as much as I do.

Each one, smokes a little differently.

But there isn’t a bad one in the stash.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Piping Abe

Papamique

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 11, 2020
513
2,493
IKR? I’m sorry to didimauw I didn’t know where to post this but with all the talk of Lee pipes I started looking at them and the first one i see is very different then what is being talked about. I didn’t want to start a new thread but at the same time understand that you are trying to keep this one on topic so I will say that whether a pipe has a fill or not (I don’t actually own a pipe with a fill) I do try to smoke them all the way to the bottom to “cure” the briar so the smoke traveling from the top of the bowl past it is left sweet. How did I do?
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,644
3,502
Humansville Missouri
There is a lee pipe on eBay now. Seven point star with an obvious and ugly fill. I thought they were perfect briar?
You must be referring to this extremely early (first month?) monstrosity on eBay?

A64A40FC-A8CE-44A5-9A9B-187531A7ECA3.jpeg6888286E-4A72-4D3D-897C-5483445A0B8F.jpegVirtually every Lee you’ll find has the stamp on the right AN AUTHENTIC IMPORTED BRIAR


For the first month of two of production in 1946, Lees will be stamped STAR GRAIN IMPORTED BRIAR.

I own one of the early STAR GRAIN Lees, and mine has the flashiest grain of any of my stash.

That one is so shiny then either the first pipes were polished to where they shone like a cheap suit, or that one has been “helped” by a well meaning restorer, I’d guess the later.

For the first month or two, Lee also sold a $3.50 One Star grade.
 

Attachments

  • 0CCEF060-30CF-4CC2-AA02-42738EF9CF76.jpeg
    0CCEF060-30CF-4CC2-AA02-42738EF9CF76.jpeg
    98.7 KB · Views: 3
Last edited:

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,644
3,502
Humansville Missouri
Whoever made that horribly ugly Two Star likely got the boot very soon. You’ll find tiny fills on Two Star grades, but that bulldog was badly shaped, should have never left the factory.

Also on eBay are two glorious 7 pointed star Three Star Lees, a large squat bulldog (or Rhodesian) and a large Dublin. These look right, and will clean up to almost new.

For whatever reason, I can’t post photos now.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,644
3,502
Humansville Missouri
EB7E3CF8-0608-48A3-892C-2DF864C976F7.jpeg
The above pipes, are what I look for.

Three Stars and perfectly shaped, and no varnish or buffing evident.

While a Two Star (sort of scarce, especially early 7 point examples) might have tiny fills, a Three Star will not.

Those pipes above have been abandoned in a drawer or box, but not abused. They’ll clean up in minutes.

But then they’ll likely need the last quarter inch of the bowl smoked a dozen times, to come into perfection.
 

Papamique

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 11, 2020
513
2,493
You must be referring to this extremely early (first month?) monstrosity on eBay?

View attachment 153931View attachment 153932Virtually every Lee you’ll find has the stamp on the right AN AUTHENTIC IMPORTED BRIAR


For the first month of two of production in 1946, Lees will be stamped STAR GRAIN IMPORTED BRIAR.

I own one of the early STAR GRAIN Lees, and mine has the flashiest grain of any of my stash.

That one is so shiny then either the first pipes were polished to where they shone like a cheap suit, or that one has been “helped” by a well meaning restorer, I’d guess the later.

For the first month or two, Lee also sold a $3.50 One Star grade.
Actually it is another one. A bulldog 3 star. I guess that’s two monstrosities now. Hmm.
 
Jun 18, 2020
2,121
6,820
Wilmington, NC
That went off the rails. I do not have any problems smoking a pipe to the bottom unless it is drilled high. I am unsure what else would cause that except user error, but I could be wrong.
I have a few cheap pipes that are drilled a bit high. These are the only ones I can't smoke all the way to the bottom (not counting cobs, but they kind of fall into this same category)
 

Papamique

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 11, 2020
513
2,493
Where's the big ugly fill? I don't have a loupe.
I can only take that as you pulling my leg but just in case ….
F14F9E52-AB89-4B01-A5CF-80E271B0DF48.png
now, big is subjective, as is ugly, so I guess TO ME it’s big and ugly but only in the context of “perfect briar”. I was looking for something of top quality with no fills and this is the first one I saw and wasn’t expecting to see this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jpmcwjr

Papamique

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 11, 2020
513
2,493
Not to bash Lee pipes. They sound amazing and the grain posted here is beautiful and they sure had some top quality from what I hear. Just a bit confused I guess.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,644
3,502
Humansville Missouri
Actually it is another one. A bulldog 3 star. I guess that’s two monstrosities now. Hmm.
Never say never about a Lee.

That I haven’t seen fills on a Three Star (or above) grade doesn’t mean there weren’t some.

But remember every Three Star Lee represents a sight unseen mail order of ten (or later on fifteen dollars) worth about a hundred and fifty or so of our dollars today in 2022.

The Lee customer in 1946 could take his ten dollar bill to thousands of places and personally select a Kaywoodie Flame Grain. For $15 he could pick out a Dunhill at a finer pipe shop.

Lee must have had a lot of repeat orders.

These two pipes are at least five years apart.

89DB0627-E262-4BE7-8A06-9CD979834EB4.jpeg

Look close, and I think you’ll agree the $15 5 point star era pipe has just a little better grain.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Papamique

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
22,468
21,808
Carmel Valley, CA
I can only take that as you pulling my leg but just in case ….
View attachment 153959
now, big is subjective, as is ugly, so I guess TO ME it’s big and ugly but only in the context of “perfect briar”. I was looking for something of top quality with no fills and this is the first one I saw and wasn’t expecting to see this.
There were many small images I didn't see it.

It's not impossible that the fill is post initial purchase.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Papamique