Question about an Ebay seller

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ssjones

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May 11, 2011
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Chance at Great Estate and Rodrigo at Treasurepipes fall into an curious category. Their pictures are typically smaller and don't show the nomenclature to great detail. But, they are successful and trust enough that they don't need to. Each has a huge fan base and sell due to their reputations. Like Peteguy, I typically like a lot of pictures, particularly of the nomenclature. You can list up to 12 pictures for the same cost, Chance usually shows 4 or 5, simply because he can.

 

buroak

Lifer
Jul 29, 2014
1,857
5
My only reservation with heavily restored pipes is that it often masks a pipe's history, prior condition, and potential issues and the restoration is never detailed.
Assuming these are the same pipe (and I would bet my eye teeth they are), the "before" listing and "after" listing illustrate how a pipe's pre-restoration condition and history are obscured. Also, I would not say that this pipe was "very gently used."
"Before Listing"



"After Listing"


 

buroak

Lifer
Jul 29, 2014
1,857
5
By the way, misterlowercase, the Frenchy article is both a fun read and a reminder about what a pipe really is. All too easily do I get wrapped up in the minutiae of nomenclature...

 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
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Assuming these are the same pipe (and I would bet my eye teeth they are), the "before" listing and "after" listing illustrate how a pipe's pre-restoration condition and history are obscured. Also, I would not say that this pipe was "very gently used."
Good catch! It's the same pipe. Look at the grain pattern. This is why I don't buy from Great Estates. I see the tweaks, toppings, etc in the offerings. He also sells some pipes that are pretty solid. The cosmetic restoration is extensive, but cosmetics don't ameliorate possible structural weaknesses due to hard use.
I've bought from Treasure Pipes, Rodrigo, because he doesn't engage in that level of clean up. He doesn't perform the equivalent of plastic surgery on a pipe. Until recently he didn't clean up the pipes at all. He just photographed them beautifully. The few pipes that turned out to be stinkers be took back without any issue. The rest have been great additions. I'd certainly buy from him again. He's about the only eBay pro that I will consider buying from.
The basic reality is that few collectors have a knowledgeable eye for restoration. They don't know it when they see it. They just accept the item as presented and throw money at a pretty face.

 

ssjones

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May 11, 2011
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I don't get it, it the links show as below, did something change?
1924 Patent One Dot
http://www.ebay.com/itm/FAMILY-ERA-Sasieni-PATENT-ERA-PRE-1924-ONE-DOT-BILLIARD-English-Estate-Pipe-NICE-/401052938228?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&nma=true&si=zpeYL8lfsCu7qOUZvfzEKQBhIRI%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc
And a Sasieni Patent Dovercourt
http://www.ebay.com/itm/AWARD-WINNING-7-3-8-SASIENI-PATENT-DOVERCOURT-XL-CANADIAN-RARE-PRISTINE/351630185545?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D34492%26meid%3Da95f2f9819e74cec9417aebb3cf2aaeb%26pid%3D100011%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D201484764423

 

dmcmtk

Lifer
Aug 23, 2013
3,672
1,659
Al, this is the before,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-RARE-PIPE-SASIENI-101-ONE-DOT-PAT-150221-20-FISHTAIL-SIGNATURE-EXC-COND-/201484764423?hash=item2ee96d8507%3Ag%3AdSoAAOSwnipWbhDg&nma=true&si=zpeYL8lfsCu7qOUZvfzEKQBhIRI%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

 

ssjones

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May 11, 2011
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Ah thanks. Weird, now the links are showing the correct pipes.
I wouldn't have a problem with that restoration, if it were a pipe I was seeking.

 

ssjones

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May 11, 2011
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To be clear, here is the comment from the Treasurepipes ad:

attesting to the care taken of this wonderfully preserved vintage pipe. Just look at it, and you'll see just how well taken care of it is. Aged briar at it's best!
I don't have a problem with that. The original seller described it as "exc/cond". For its age, I would agree. (minimal rim damage, no stem damage)

 

dmcmtk

Lifer
Aug 23, 2013
3,672
1,659
In the first auction, there is a great variation of the thickness of the chamber walls clearly visible, in the second, much less so.......

 

buroak

Lifer
Jul 29, 2014
1,857
5
I do not know what is going on with the links. They both show the correct addresses when hovered over with my cursor, but when clicked sometimes display the wrong eBay page. The quirk may be on eBay's end.
To be clear, here is the comment from the Treasurepipes ad:
attesting to the care taken of this wonderfully preserved vintage pipe. Just look at it, and you'll see just how well taken care of it is. Aged briar at it's best!
I don't have a problem with that. The original seller described it as "exc/cond". For its age, I would agree. (minimal rim damage, no stem damage)
This is the part of the description to which I was referring (emphasis mine):
This Sasieni is in very gently used condition, and promises more enjoyment to it's next owner!
There is also this:
...it has a clean, crisp rim...
Well, now it does.

 

buroak

Lifer
Jul 29, 2014
1,857
5
In the first auction, there is a great variation of the thickness of the chamber walls clearly visible, in the second, much less so.......
I thought that might just be camera angle and my eyes, but maybe not.

 
May 31, 2012
4,296
19
By the way, misterlowercase, the Frenchy article is both a fun read and a reminder about what a pipe really is. All too easily do I get wrapped up in the minutiae of nomenclature...
No doubt Buroak,

I too get all wrapped up in such things.
Although I greatly appreciate the hard info which has been brought to light with regards to serious study & scholarship, it would all be a bit dry if we didn't also have a sense of humor too, I think it is important to have a balance as well, we should be able to laugh at ourselves and just simply enjoy everything.
Those sentiments were so very clearly expressed by Frenchy and it is why I took the time with the trouble of sitting here and manually transcribing the story - it was totally worth the small time it took, and I'm glad people have enjoyed reading it.
As collectors, we should be able to entertain myriad prisms of perspective,

and be able to enjoy the whole shebang,

because this pipe stuff is just so damn fun!

Y'know?

:puffy:

 

buroak

Lifer
Jul 29, 2014
1,857
5
This might provide some insight into the chamber wall question...
In the "before" listing:
Measurements are approximate.
Length: 5 1/4"
Bowl height: 1 1/2"
Diameter Outside: 1 1/8" Inside: 3/4" Bowl Depth: 1 1/4"
Weight: 26 grams
In the "after" listing:

Dimensions: 5-1/2” long, 1-9/16” tall, 1-1/8" wide, with a 13/16" chamber diameter.
WEIGHT: 23 grams
So, the chamber diameter increased and the pipe lost weight. Of course, measurements are sometimes imprecisely taken and the pipe would have lost some weight when cake and gunk are removed.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
16,532
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Maryland
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I don't put much stock in dimensions, most sellers don't use good tools to measure these accurately.
Of course the dimensions are going to change after it is restored - that is a given. Any pipe that has had oxidation removed from the stem is changed forever.
I would always rather do the work myself, but most folks are inclined to do so.
I just don't see any variation in the bowl walls. In the before picture, the rim build-up obscures the 12 o-clock and the picture isn't very crisp.

Looks much the same in the after.

I'd be completely happy with the condition of the restored pipe, I suspect it looked exactly like the pictures, he takes returns if I weren't happy. (and by all accounts aims to please his large customer base). It looks about 14 bidders agree with me!

 

buroak

Lifer
Jul 29, 2014
1,857
5
I just don't see any variation in the bowl walls. In the before picture, the rim build-up obscures the 12 o-clock and the picture isn't very crisp.
That is quite possible. The build-up/char does also play tricks on my eyes. I am still not certain.
I'd be completely happy with the condition of the restored pipe, I suspect it looked exactly like the pictures, he takes returns if I weren't happy. (and by all accounts aims to please his large customer base). It looks about 14 bidders agree with me!
I imagine the buyer will be happy with the pipe, and I do not doubt the integrity of his photos. I watched the original listing out of my love for old panel shapes, but I was put off by the condition. The state of the rim and the exterior darkening of the bowl walls had me worried about the pipe's structural state. It almost looked as if there was shrinkage in the wood. I was mistaken on that count, as much of what I saw seems to have been external grime. I still take issue with the claim that this pipe was "very gently used".

 

buroak

Lifer
Jul 29, 2014
1,857
5
Although I greatly appreciate the hard info which has been brought to light with regards to serious study & scholarship, it would all be a bit dry if we didn't also have a sense of humor too, I think it is important to have a balance as well, we should be able to laugh at ourselves and just simply enjoy everything.
Those sentiments were so very clearly expressed by Frenchy and it is why I took the time with the trouble of sitting here and manually transcribing the story - it was totally worth the small time it took, and I'm glad people have enjoyed reading it.
Misterlowercase, Humor and cobs are necessary correctives to serious study and obsession with pedigree. Transcribing even a short article is tedious, so you have my gratitude.

 

okiescout

Lifer
Jan 27, 2013
1,530
5
Threads like this help so many of us, who are learning in this arena, with knowledge it takes money and years to learn. Thanks you all for helping in an area. I have not been able to find a book that contains so much worthy experience.
There is obviously, as in the all the rest of the pipe experience, so many different perspectives. This rounds out the threads and really helps the reader to take the information and adapt it to their own reasons for buying.
E-bay, while far from perfect, gives many of us a chance to see and purchase pipes we would never have opportunity to observe in our areas. Your information is priceless no matter what an individuals goals and cares in this market are.

 

dmcmtk

Lifer
Aug 23, 2013
3,672
1,659
I just don't see any variation in the bowl walls. In the before picture, the rim build-up obscures the 12 o-clock and the picture isn't very crisp.
Al, take a look at a clearer picture from the before listing,

I would say, to my eye, the rim wall thicknesses are much more even in the after listing. Also note the ever so slight crack line, also visible in the before picture you posted at the 8 o'clock position, and extending into the chamber.

 
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