Ser Jacopo Modica experience s

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oldgeezersmoker

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Oct 7, 2016
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Looking around eBay a few months ago, I found some listings for Ser Jacapo Modica pipes advertised as being from the Coral Dot era. I have done some research in odd moments since then, and have determined that these are current production pipes, not from the Coral Dot era (which being around back then and not having entirely lost my memory, I already suspected.The consensus is that the Coral Dot era ended in 1997).
My question is about the quality of these pipes and where they rank in the Ser Jacapo pecking order. I am as some of you know a YUGE Castello afficianado, but I also like Ser Jacapos. I am aware of what Marble Arch officially imports into the US, regular See Jacapos and Gepettos, and overseas you can also find La Fumas, which are pipes with either fills or too visible fissures to be a Set Jackpot first, and private label shop pipes, that bear the SerJacopo name and the name of the shop that it was made for, and may or may not be hand turned. (I have one of these, a great sand blast panel Group 5 size that I bought from the shop whose name it bears back in the late 90's, and I saw another one on eBay a while back).
In addition to eBay, I have seen these pipes widely advertised by Italian shops, though not any of the Italian based sponsors of this forum, and at least one large German shop. Cutting though the mechanics of currency conversion, VAT rebates and shipping, it looks like you could land one of these in the US for around $85. The few true auctions, as opposed to buy it now offers, seem to end up in roughly the same place with shipping
So have any of you actually seen enough of these pipes to pass judgment? Filled? Fissures? How drilled?

 

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bigpond

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Oct 14, 2014
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No experience with them but I often see Gepetto's new for around $100 from Italian vendors.

 

oldgeezersmoker

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Oct 7, 2016
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Yes. And I am not seeing Geppetto from US dealers these days. One Italian dealer has 91 Geppetto in his eBay store.

 

oldgeezersmoker

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Oct 7, 2016
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Whitewolf, the Coral Dot on Modica has been misrepresented by some eBay sellers as being an indication of when the pipe was made. From what I have been able to gather from an Italian source, filtered through Google translate, a large number of "waste" stummels were on hand at Guidi's death. The former practice had been to sell these to other makers to finish and dispose of under their brand names. That market apparently disappeared at the time of the 2008 recession, and has never come back. That is a long way of saying that the Modica are what we would call seconds, but since they have the Ser Jacopo name on them, what are they? I am told that some smooths have fills, some don't. I have also seen pictures of them with the same box and glove that came with the last Jucunda I bought just a little while back.
I am sure that this is a problem for Marble Arch. I would think that the flood of Geppetos is also. Those prices on eBay are very attractive.

 

oldgeezersmoker

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Oct 7, 2016
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whitewolf, I was totally out of the pipe world from 2001 until last summer, so the Modicas were new to me. I would guess, though, that they post date 2008?
Geppetto was a pretty nice line of pipe s when I quit. Now I see them all over eBay, not that much more than Modicas, but i don't see new ones on US Dealers web sites. What is the story there?

 

agnosticpipe

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Nov 3, 2013
2,876
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I wonder if this holds true for Mastro de Paja. Check out their Classicia pipes at SPC, they're all inexpensive too, and now half price. I saw a few of these stamped Mastro de Paja Classicia going for as low as $45.00! They were rusticated pipes that were ok looking, but why so cheap? Shoot, that's the price of a basket pipe, so might be the bargain of the year?

 

cally454

Member
Dec 31, 2012
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Not bashing love SJ but I have a pretty high end delecta with two fills. So that standard has been eased a bit.

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
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Orley, one of the Italian pipe smokers forums reported that Mastro de Paja went bankrupt about a year ago, their property was sold and the name was purchased by someone unknown to the forumites.
It was a lengthy thread, but no one disputed those basic facts. The property is being used for some other purpose entirely. I have no idea of the source of the pipes that are presently being offered.
Cally 454, except for one very early Gemline that was sold in the European market and then sold to me sight unseen, I have only seen fills on Fumas. There is such a thing as a Delecta La Fuma, could that be what you have?

I have heard of other Ser Jacopo high grades with fills, but Marble Arch (the US distributor) never imported them. That was many years ago. I thought that they had stopped this practice, even for the European market, when they started using the LaFuma grade, sometime in the early days.
Oh,, I sent the filled Gemline back to Italy. The seller, a retailer, thought he was doing me a great favor by selling me such a gorgeous pipe at a very attractive price. He resold it immediately to a customer in Spain who knew exactly what he was getting and could care less about little putty! The retailer and I are friends to this day, and he still thinks Americans are too picky!

 

cally454

Member
Dec 31, 2012
205
0
Old. It's a aspera ad astra. It's is an l1 so I'm not completely surprised. I did pay an amount that one would think it would be fill free

 
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