Seeking Information on Clifton British Estate Pipe

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.
Status
Not open for further replies.

huntertrw

Preferred Member
Jul 23, 2014
3,864
59
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
Today I won at auction on eBay the estate Clifton brand fluted briar pipe shown in the images below. The British seller's listing stated that it was manufactured in 1960 by the firm of Hall and Fitzgerald of Bristol. Does anyone here have information concerning this manufacturer, or any experience with their pipes? Please let me know.


Thank-you for your help with this!

 

huntertrw

Preferred Member
Jul 23, 2014
3,864
59
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
tbradsim1:
Thank-you. Hopefully this one will come across the pond faster than did a Dunhill Gemlite pipe-lighter which I purchased from a seller in England a few years back. I had given up hope of it ever arriving, and the Seller refunded my money. But wouldn't you know it, the day that the refund hit my PayPal account the pipe arrived in my mailbox! I reissued the payment, and all was well. The moral of this story is that good things really do come to those who wait, and wait, and wait...

 

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.

huntertrw

Preferred Member
Jul 23, 2014
3,864
59
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
The estate Clifton pictured above was delivered via Royal Mail Air Mail, and in prompt fashion, too. I then gave it a thorough exterior cleaning; a light reaming; the salt-and-alcohol treatment; a scrubbing, bleach-soak, and polishing of the stem; a light topping of the bowl; a touch-up of its finish with Fiebing's Cordovan dye; a thorough drying in front of a fan; and a waxing with Carnauba. Its baptism by fire as the newest member of my stable came via a bowl of Mac Baren Plumcake from 2005.
Wow! Of all of the estate pipes which I have purchased, this one gave the best initial smoke of all. Granted, it has some fills, but given how it performed I could care less. It may join my Rogers Select Prince as a "magic" pipe. Only time (and tobacco) will tell.
In the meantime, do any of you Forum members in Great Britain know anything about the maker? Please let me know.
Good Luck, and Good Smoking!

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
15,567
3,260
Maryland
postimg.cc
That is gorgeous!
I can only find this on the stem logo:

http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-c5.html#clifton
A tidbit on their silverwork:

http://www.silvercollection.it/DICTIONARYTOBACCONISTH.html
UK National Archives:

"Hall & Fitzgerald, fancy goods warehousemen: records 20th cent (41074)
From another silver web forum:

"Hall & Fitzgerald registered their H&F mark in London in 1899 and in Chester in 1901. They also seem to have had a Birmingham registration. The company was in business through most of the 20th century. For example they are in a 1920 telephone directory as "fancy goods merchants", as "pipe manufacturers in 1945", as "briar pipe manufacturers" in 1960 and as "gift & smokers' wholesalers" in 1982."

 

jguss

Preferred Member
Jul 7, 2013
1,104
1,317
Hi,

Hall & Fitzgerald had a number of pipes called Clifton; they were named for the company's factory, located at Clifton Works in Bristol.

There ought to be other stamps on the pipe; if you can tell me what they say I might be able to tell you a bit more.

Regards,

Jon

 

huntertrw

Preferred Member
Jul 23, 2014
3,864
59
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
ssjones:
According to the Seller's listing on eBay, this pipe dates to 1960, the time when your source identified Hall & Fitzgerald as, "...briar pipe manufacturers..."
jguss:
The only nomenclature on this pipe is as follows:
Left-hand side (as viewed from smoker's perspective): "Corniche" over "by Clifton."

Right-hand side (as viewed from smoker's perspective): "Made in England."

 

jguss

Preferred Member
Jul 7, 2013
1,104
1,317
Over the course of the 1930s Hall & Fitzgerald began to use "Clifton" as an umbrella brand for their pipes. To start with, from 1930-33 the Clifton name was only used for one pipe, the Clifton De Luxe. That was a moderately priced offering at just 3 shillings 6 pence. Many other pipes were sold by H&F, of course, just not under the Clifton name.
In 1934 H&F began spreading the Clifton brand over several other pipes, including the Clifton New Age and the Clifton Vintage (both priced at 5/6), and the Clifton Certex sold at 3/6. The next year they began moving the Clifton pipes higher up in their line; in 1935 they added the Clifton Classic, priced at 7/6. They did the same thing in 1936, this time adding the Clifton Extra Quality priced at 10/6.
By 1938 the Clifton line had expanded from five pipes to eight when H&F added a Clifton New Age Phantom Streamline at 5/6, a Phantom at 2/6, and a Phantom Streamline at 2/6.
By the time the war broke out yet another four pipes had been added, including a Clifton Golden Grid (Super Grade) at 5/6, a Golden Grid Rustic and Standard each at 3/6, and a Service at 2/6.
H&F disappeared from price books during the war; not uncommon since many manufacturers failed to see the value in advertising goods that the consequences of the war prevented them from making (e.g. briar and vulcanite supply issues; production redirection to support the war effort; etc). But by 1949 the Clifton line had re-emerged, although significantly pruned back; this pruning perhaps reflected both the fact that briar was still hard to get, and a general decline in pipe smoking that was beginning to be felt in the UK and abroad. At any rate by then the Clifton brand was reduced to the Classic, now priced at 30/-, the New Age (25/-), the Dental Deluxe (3/-), the Golden Grid (2/-), and a few others.
You'll notice no "Corniche" in all of this. The price lists I consulted only go up through 1954, and the Clifton Corniche had yet to make its appearance in that time period. This is certainly consistent with the 1960s dating on the pipe suggested by the seller.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
15,567
3,260
Maryland
postimg.cc
Fascinating Jon. Can you share any secrets on how you get this detailed information? I googled every angle that I could think of and only gleaned a smattering of info.

 

huntertrw

Preferred Member
Jul 23, 2014
3,864
59
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
jguss:
My thanks to you for the background information on Hall & Fitzgerald and their Clifton pipes! While not familiar with either I will certainly be on the lookout for additional models by this maker, as mine has proved to be a gem.

 

huntertrw

Preferred Member
Jul 23, 2014
3,864
59
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
ssjones:
I purchased this pipe because I admired the straight-fluted billiard (a Sasieni if I recall correctly?) estate pipe about which you posted awhile back. It was the closest which I could find to that rare beauty.

 
Status
Not open for further replies.

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.