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Winnipeger

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 9, 2022
604
3,731
Winnipeg
This 1963 Dunhill estate pipe at smokingpipes.com caught my eye because it kind of reminds me of an Arne Jacobsen. They’re holding it for me at the moment. I want to ask the collectors here if they have any opinions on it.

004-002-32864.4606.jpg
[The listing is here: https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/england/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=511193]

It’s SUPER light. The asking price is probably half of what a smooth Arne Jacobsen would fetch. I like the shape, I like the size, it looks super clean, decent grain. Small chamber but I don’t mind that, and SP confirmed it’s "only slightly conical", and looks “spacious for its size.” I’ve never owned a Dunhill, but I understand the early ‘60s to be a good bet for quality. So anyway…

I was curious about the shape, so I googled it, and discovered what’s obviously the same pipe previously sold by smokingpipes.com. Notice anything different?

004-002-18594.8734.jpg
[https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/england/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=340769]

Correct!

The rim has been chamfered, I would assume to remove the inner darkening and make the pipe more marketable. I asked about it and they confirmed it was a previous listing and they don’t know who altered the rim. (Anybody here know?)

It kind of bothered me that there was no mention of the fact the briar had been trimmed, but I’m sure it was an honest oversight. (I’ll state for the record that SP has, in my experience, the best customer service in the universe. Their searchable archive of previous listings is a great resource. Obviously they weren't trying to hide any facts about this listing, because it took me about 2 seconds to find the original.)

The other thing is, I notice the previous listing mentions charring around the airway but the current listing does not. SP could not confirm whether they thought the chamber had been sanded, but the pipe no longer shows signs of charring. I've been led to believe from reading posts on this site that airway charring can be a bit of red flag. Any comments?

Apparently the tooth marks have been buffed out as well.

Questions for you expert estate collectors:

Does this chamfered rim bother you? Would it be a deal breaker? Does it look weird on a Dunhill Bruyere? (I think it looks nice, but “not quite right.” I don’t see this kind of rim tapering on other examples of Bruyeres. Are there any?) Does it negatively affect the value? Would you expect the price to be reduced to reflect the fact that the briar has been altered, or does the "fantastic" restoration—as the SP rep described it—negate those concerns? It seems like estate pipes often have some, or a lot of rim, darkening, charring, tooth marks, etc. etc. I wonder why someone thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and alter a 60 year old piece of briar in order to make it more presentable. Was that a bad idea?

I request people not respond by telling me I should, or shouldn't buy the pipe based on whether or not I think it's worth it to me. That's not what I'm asking. I'm asking if, as collectors (which I am not one), you feel the chamfered rim objectively detracts from the value. Anyone willing to estimate a fair asking price?

Another question I have is about the shape (753). I didn’t find any other examples of it, doing a cursory google search and I didn’t see it on any of the shape charts on pipedia.com or anywhere else. Does anyone know if this is a fairly rare shape? Can anyone direct me to a shape chart anywhere that lists a 753? Anyone here own one?

Last question. Anybody know what brand of pipe Arne Jacobsen smoked?

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to this post. Also, thanks to all of you who welcomed me to the site this week. I've never done any blogging or contributed to any online forums before, and I don't use social media. In fact I avoid it like the plague. It took me about 5 years to join this forum since I started reading it. I certainly feel like I know a lot of you already. Anyway, the welcoming committee has done a fantastic job. Cheers to you!
 
Last edited:

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
38,523
85,311
Anybody here know?
Anyone with a ball sanding bit.

Z11yu0fo5oy.jpeg.jpg



Does this chamfered rim bother you? Would it be a deal breaker?
Yes and yes unless it included a massive reduction in price for the oversight.


Obviously they weren't trying to hide any facts about this listing, because it took me about 2 seconds to find the original.)


Would you expect the price to be reduced to reflect the fact that the briar has been altered
$150 maximum
 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,075
7,021
I agree completely with your take on SP's approach to doing business. Nothing but straight dealing every step of the way. Five stars.

My GUESS---and I assure you that's all it is---is that the pipe was sold by them, the new owner had it worked on, then it ended up "coming back around" for some reason a significant amount of time later. The owner stopped collecting, changed focus, died, whatever. Then it was taken in by their estate department without any awareness of having been previously handled BY them. It was listed and dealt with like any other pipe.

What do I base that guess on? The chamfer mod is not something SP would choose to do, and would have done it correctly HAD they chosen to do it. I know the guy who heads that department and he's a major league perfectionist. Highly skilled. Not just at repair work, but he makes pipes that are sold for significant money to high grade collectors the world over and has for a long time. Not only would chamfering a Dunhill rim make his brain screech---never mind doing it needlessly (dark is categorically better than cut)---the chamfering would NOT have been lopsided (non-concentric) had he done it. That's amateur stuff.

Does it kill the pipe's value as a collectable? That, of course, only you can answer. People collect pipes for many reasons, and sometimes completeness is more important than condition; while for others condition is everything.
 

Winnipeger

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 9, 2022
604
3,731
Winnipeg
My GUESS---and I assure you that's all it is---is that the pipe was sold by them, the new owner had it worked on, then it ended up "coming back around" for some reason a significant amount of time later. The owner stopped collecting, changed focus, died, whatever. Then it was taken in by their estate department without any awareness of having been previously handled BY them. It was listed and dealt with like any other pipe.
I agree with all that. But maybe SP should do a quick search of their own archives when they receive estates in the mail so this kind of thing doesn't happen. It literally took me 2 seconds to find the old listing. Of course I know nothing about the vagaries of staffing and running a multi-national corporation, but I think it would have been quicker and cheaper for them to copy, edit, and paste the old listing than to write a whole new one. 🤷‍♂️
 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,075
7,021

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,075
7,021
...maybe SP should do a quick search of their own archives when they receive estates in the mail so this kind of thing doesn't happen. It literally took me 2 seconds to find the old listing. Of course I know nothing about the vagaries of staffing and running a multi-national corporation, but I think it would have been quicker and cheaper for them to copy, edit, and paste the old listing than to write a whole new one. 🤷‍♂️

Not really. The same pipe coming back through is less than one percent of their volume, I'd guess (probably way less), and exception processing is the Great System Killer. Much easier to treat all incoming pipes as if they're first timers.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
38,523
85,311
Um, yeah. Bruce Weaver often did camfering with those. The diameter of the chamber is listed as both .62" and .63" with a bowl width of 1". A 1" ball, which is available by the way, on T-handle could easily do that. It can also be done with sandpaper on a Styrofoam cone.
 
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ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
17,016
7,388
Maryland
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The only way those issues would bother me, would be in the price.
At $50, no issues, I'm a buyer.
Unaltered, I guess the value would be around $250 or so on Ebay?
Maybe. Group 2 pipes are TINY and not highly sought by Dunhill collectors (in comparison to larger group sizes).
Altered, $175 or so would remove doubts.
SP doesn't discount much, so I bet those prices aren't close to their asking.
 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,075
7,021
Um, yeah. Bruce Weaver often did camfering with those. The diameter of the chamber is listed as both .62" and .63" with a bowl width of 1". A 1" ball, which is available by the way, on T-handle could easily do that. It can also be done with sandpaper on a Styrofoam cone.

A round ball would result in a concave chamfer, and styrofoam would be too soft and flexible, resulting in a cut that lacked sharpness and precision. A round ball is also quite difficult to control and keep centered.

A designed-for-the-task, large diameter wooden (or plastic) rod with a 60 or 70-degree point whose cutting face is smoothly covered with sandpaper is the only thing that will give a professional result. Two are needed, also. A coarse one to remove material, and a fine one to remove all sanding scratches and bring the beveled surface to a "finishable" smoothness (trying to use the smooth one alone will just result in instant loading w/no cutting action.)
 
Dec 3, 2021
2,789
21,919
Pennsylvania & New York
My two cents (all it may be worth) coming from a book collecting perspective—a trimmed dust jacket on a collectible first edition book will be worth a fraction of one completely intact in nice shape; generally speaking, condition is everything. There are exceptions, like association copies—it belonged to someone of note, someone was a friend or relative of the author, etc.—I have the dedication copy of an important book (inscribed by the author to the person that is the printed dedicatee of the novel) that isn't in the best condition, but, it's priceless to me and a jewel in my collection.

I probably would not pay a premium for something that was altered from its original condition. That said, if I didn't yet have a copy of the title in question, I might buy the lesser copy as a placeholder until I could score a pristine one (which might never arrive).

I'm guessing the Tom Eltang you linked to could cost a pretty penny. If you think you'll enjoy smoking the Dunhill shape and you don't mind its price, and enjoy looking at an approximation of the pipe you really want, you should get it. Just bear in mind that no amount of wishing is going to restore the original shape of the rim, or make it an Eltang. I've tortured myself with books that had a hint of fading on the spine of the dust jacket—"Should I return it? It's a pretty nice copy otherwise. But, I can see the fading . . ." I ultimately came to the conclusion that I would not be happy unless I had an unfaded example. No amount of pulling the book off the shelf and looking at it would change the flaw. It took time, but, I learned to be patient and wait for the "right" copy instead of upgrading in increments (which is costly). From that, I also learned that if it took me too long to decide to get it or not, better to pass on it. When you know you want it, the decision should come quickly and firmly. Hesitating just means you're not sure—and if you're not sure, it's probably not right for you.
 

LotusEater

Lifer
Apr 16, 2021
3,193
44,082
Kansas City Missouri
I don’t think there is any question that once the shape has been altered or a significant repair has been done the pipe is no longer of great value to a “collector”. The goal of the collector (I would think) is to acquire the best possible examples of whatever they collect.
For my part I think altered or repaired pipes provide an opportunity to own a a great pipe at what should be a greatly reduced price- but I’m more a smoker than a collector
 

Winnipeger

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 9, 2022
604
3,731
Winnipeg
Group 2 pipes are TINY and not highly sought by Dunhill collectors (in comparison to larger group sizes).
I think that would probably explain the lower relative asking price in comparison to other Bruyeres of the same vintage on SP, in the same (apparently) excellent condition. The rep said they had taken the condition fully into account when assessing the value, but there was no indication or acknowledgement that they knew the pipe had been significantly altered when making that assessment. In other words, having been made aware of that fact, they didn't offer to lower the price.
 

Winnipeger

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 9, 2022
604
3,731
Winnipeg
I'm guessing the Tom Eltang you linked to could cost a pretty penny. If you think you'll enjoy smoking the Dunhill shape and you don't mind its price, and enjoy looking at an approximation of the pipe you really want, you should get it. Just bear in mind that no amount of wishing is going to restore the original shape of the rim, or make it an Eltang.
Yeah, I'll probably never shell out the clams for a smooth high end Eltang. I'm not really a "collector" either, personality-wise. I'm after function. I like the shape and size of those Arne Jacobsens. I already own one production grade Eltang and, while it's a nice piece, my conclusion is it's probably overpriced for what it is, and what it does. It's nice to look at, the bit and button are super comfortable, etc. but lots of artisan pipes exhibit those characteristics and regularly cost half of what a low end Eltang does. The same holds for Dunhills. If I were a rich man — Ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum —I'd be be more inclined to collect Ivarssons and Formers. But I'm not a I'm not a collector . . . which is why I'm interested in the opinions of you guys who are.
 
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