Robert L Marx Exhibition Pipes

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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
I just bought these, which are supposed to be Robert L Marx made exhibition pipes. What interests me is why would Marx have stained the dark one?

I’ve owned some others like these. What I’ve hoped they were made for was to pass out to dealers to exhibit the briar used.

The pipe seller who looked like Charlie Rich in Springfield Missouri thirty years ago had one of these, I forget now who made it.

Maybe these will sort of compensate for me breaking the stem on my AAA Marxman. I’ll report when they arrive.

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huntertrw

Lifer
Jul 23, 2014
5,267
5,504
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
Wasn't Robert the sixth Marx Brother?

Groucho:
GM.jpg


Harpo:
HM.jpg

Chico:
CM.jpg

Zeppo:
ZM.jpg

Gummo:
GM.jpg

Robert:
(Couldn't find an image of him, but here are brothers Groucho, Chico, and Harpo trying one of his experimental large pipe designs created during a time when briar was in short supply. For some reason, this one never went into production...)
GCH Tuba.jpg
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
E
Wow. I was wondering when those pipes would be bought. Did the seller finally lower the price?
I offered $100, $120, and $135, and when a rent check came in from a house I inherited I finally paid the full $150.

I remembered the Charlie Rich pipe seller feller in Springfield waxing eloquent on how quality briar pipes made from plateaux briar had to be first carefully selected before being made into a pipe.

Manno Italian Briar Plateaux Grade Extra Extra - https://rawkrafted.com/manno-italian-briar-plateaux-grade-extra-extra/

But if the lady wished something even more rare and precious to give a certain gentleman, then behind him he displayed meerschaums, most of which were merely a few hundred dollars more than a briar.;)

 
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telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
I was looking at those this week, but they seemed too much like partially finished DIY pipe kits for me to pull the trigger.
My interest in them is that they were signed Robert Marx. They seemed interesting and unique, but I just couldn't see smoking them "for real". As it is, My Marxman 400 is almost too much of a pipe to be used except for occasions where the tobacco I am smoking is light on the Nicotine.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
My interest in them is that they were signed Robert Marx. They seemed interesting and unique, but I just couldn't see smoking them "for real". As it is, My Marxman 400 is almost too much of a pipe to be used except for occasions where the tobacco I am smoking is light on the Nicotine.

There is a return privilege but I seldom do that.

If that’s Algerian briar, and the tan one appears to be, think how enormous the burl had to be in order one three or four inch section looks nearly flat, just a slight radius curve?

Heath in Algeria is what we call brush in the Ozarks. Imagine the sight of the Berber tribesman who hauled that treasure into a colonial French briar buying station.

The one I had and the one I saw in the Springfield Missouri pipe shop, had bases cut to rest the pipe that showed off the straight grain that radiated from the base up to the rim.

But Marx internationally made both pipes cross grained, the way he (and Richard Lee) normally cut their pipes.

Marx stained his Mell-O grade pipes that reddish color shown on the stained pipe. I’m betting he had two oil tanks, and boiled his best briar in clear oil and the lower grade in reddish stained oil.

Notice all the sand pits on the bottom of the natural pipe.

I’m just about to bust waiting to smoke em’ .:)
 

Tate

Lifer
Sep 27, 2023
1,259
17,449
30
Northern Illinois
Awesome, man! I'm excited to hear how you like em! I got a jumbo B in today. Should be ready for blast off on Sunday! Congrats on the acquisition! They look very cool!
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
Here seems another example from eBay with better photos. This seller wants $200 delivered for one.

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That appears to be a D stamp on the stem.

You’d think Marx would have made up a bunch of straight grains from what had to be burls the size of beach balls.

But these were D size cross grains, some stained and others left natural.

I wonder if these were advertised?

If they could only talk.:)
 
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Tate

Lifer
Sep 27, 2023
1,259
17,449
30
Northern Illinois
Here seems another example from eBay with better photos. This seller wants $175 for one.

View attachment 251552View attachment 251553View attachment 251554View attachment 251555View attachment 251559View attachment 251557View attachment 251558
View attachment 251560
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That appears to be a D stamp on the stem.

You’d think Marx would have made up a bunch of straight grains from what had to be burls the size of beach balls.

But these were D size cross grains, some stained and others left natural.

I wonder if these were advertised?

If they could only talk.:)
Fascinating stuff!! Making me want to cruise eBay some more lol
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
When it comes to Super Briars, are the royal and deluxe based on the size as well like the Jumbos?

I’m mainly guessing, but all Super Briars I’ve seen are highly polished, fill free, uncarved, traditional medium sized pipes, that sold for $5. Super Briar was a grade, not a style.

Near the end Marx advertised $2.50 Dunsboro and Morocco grades, the Dunsboro line was smooth and Morocco were roughly carved.

I just bought one for $30 delivered that looks like a very large Dublin, marked Selected Grain.

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This one looks at least a C size.

Benchmades and Jumbos were advertised separately but I have several Benchmade Jumbos.

I’ve not seen a Royal or a Deluxe.
 
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Tate

Lifer
Sep 27, 2023
1,259
17,449
30
Northern Illinois
I’m mainly guessing, but all Super Briars I’ve seen are highly polished, fill free, uncarved, traditional medium sized pipes, that sold for $5. Super Briar was a grade, not a style.

Near the end Marx advertised $2.50 Dunsboro and Morocco grades, the Dunsboro line was smooth and Morocco were roughly carved.

I just bought one for $30 delivered that looks like a very large Dublin, marked Selected Grain.

View attachment 251562View attachment 251563View attachment 251564View attachment 251565View attachment 251566View attachment 251567View attachment 251568View attachment 251569View attachment 251570View attachment 251571

This one looks at least a C size.

Benchmades and Jumbos were advertised separately but I have several Benchmade Jumbos.

I’ve not seen a Royal or a Deluxe.
This ad is mainly why I ask.
Screenshot_20231007_040407_Chrome.jpg
It's seems the super briar I have is the same size as the Jumbo B.
 

Tate

Lifer
Sep 27, 2023
1,259
17,449
30
Northern Illinois
Found this add about the Selected GradeScreenshot_20231007_041115_Chrome.jpg
Priced just below the Dunsboro and Mel-o grade. A beautiful pipe though and I would bet it smokes great. These Marxman that I have been able to try are absolutely awesome! Securing the title of best in my collection with out even being completely restored lol
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
What I find odd is that many of Marx's pipes are not rusticated but are smooth bowl finishes. Most of my Marxman's would pass as a standard everyday pipe with no hint that it is a Marxman. The shapes and finishes are just like any other pipe. These are all pre 54s and are NOS still in the boxes.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,835
13,901
Humansville Missouri
What I find odd is that many of Marx's pipes are not rusticated but are smooth bowl finishes. Most of my Marxman's would pass as a standard everyday pipe with no hint that it is a Marxman. The shapes and finishes are just like any other pipe. These are all pre 54s and are NOS still in the boxes.

Our government has always been smarter than the public gives it credit for being.:)

In October of 1941 a Nazi submarine sank the USS Rueben James with heavy loss of life. Woody Guthrie wrote and recorded a hit song What Were Their Names (to the tune of the Wildwood Flower) but FDR did NOT ask for a declaration of war against Germany.

Only when the Japs snuck up on Pearl Harbor early one Sunday morning on December 7, 1941 did America go to war, and Hitler did FDR an incredible favor by declaring war on the USA a few days later.

America was at total war, and as unified as we will ever be.

We all know how it ended. In 1940 the USA almost made five million cars.

During the entire war the USA made 139 automobiles. It is wise not to bomb our Pearl Harbors.:)

After Pearl Harbor the government had a bureau determine that before the war America made about 30 million briar pipes each year, the average cost was about a dollar each, except for about 11 million Kaywoodies that started at $3.50 and ranged to $10.

The average pipe smoker bought three new pipes a year.

By 1945 most of the cheap pipes were mission briar (at best) or mountain laurel but the Kaywoodies and Marxman luxury pipes were always imported briar.

The government did not ration briar pipes. But there was a price freeze on both selling prices and labor costs, and a 95% excess profits tax. To preserve the newspapers and magazines the cost of newspaper advertisements were fully deductible and there was even a tax credit of some kind.

Coffee was rationed not so much because of lack of supplies from South America as hoarding caused by fear. Some unnamed genius required coffee merchants to open the sealed can at time of sale. Soon after coffee was taken off the ration list but we’ve been hooked on coffee since.

The next time you hear briar is all about the same, remember that within just a few years after the war all the Mission briar pipes were long gone.

After the war economists expected a return to hard times, but instead pent up demand drove a boom never before seen until a sharp, brief 1953 recession ended the party.

I think it was that recession that prompted Marx to sell out.
 
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