What is an Estate Pipe?

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OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
6,210
33,777
71
Sydney, Australia
Is there something special that makes a pipe an estate, or is it just a fancy name for a second hand pipe?
An estate pipe is a pre-owned or second hand pipe
They may be heavily used, lightly used or unused - believe it or not there are some who buy pipes and never get around to smoking them 🙄

Another term you may come across is NOS (New Old Stock) ie unsold stock from a tobacconist.
 
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georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
5,691
15,007
More like a morbid name for a used pipe. Estate is short for probate estate, i.e., a dead person's belongings.

Funny how things go full circle.

The term "estate pipe" was coined by a friend of mine 37 years ago. His name was Barry Levin. He developed a business cleaning up and re-selling tobacco pipes that he bought from (mostly) widows in assisted living homes and similar.

Pre-Internet, the process was entirely analog: Fat envelopes with 10-12 photos and a price sheet were mailed to thousands of potential buyers every month, and they would phone him back to claim #17 on page 4, etc.

The biggest obstacle was that pipes were seen back then as personal items, like shoes, toothbrushes, and so forth. Getting past that required re-branding... so he started calling the pipes he had for sale "estate" pipes.

Worked like a champ.

Two fun facts to go with the story: 1) Barry's cleaner-upper guy was Jim Cooke. He lived nearby and was interested in one day making pipes himself, so thought it was a good place to start; and 2) When he'd buy collections from the (mostly) widows, many would ask him if he'd mind taking away their deceased husband's tobacco stash as a favor, to spare them from hauling it to a bulk trash container.
 

Alejo R.

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 13, 2020
908
1,901
49
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Is there something special that makes a pipe an estate, or is it just a fancy name for a second hand pipe?
Fancy name for a second mouth pipe. But since a pipe is a simple artifact built with durable materials, estate pipe means that you can find a very good relationship between quality and price
 

pappymac

Lifer
Feb 26, 2015
3,418
4,690
An "estate" pipe in my opinion is a used pipe with from a brand named company or carver (Dunhill, Comoy, Sasieni, Eltang, Ivarsson, Knudson, etc.)

I base this on the following definition of estate:
"previously owned by another and usually of high quality"

Any other used pipes range from being a used or second hand pipe down to a "dog chew toy" pipe.
 
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Alejo R.

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 13, 2020
908
1,901
49
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Based on how one uses a pipe, I suppose they did need to come up with a more appealing way to refer to a "used" one. I can see how this could be applied to other used "personal" items:

Estate dentures
Estate catheters
Estate colostomy bags
Estate dental floss
Estate tooth brushes
etc.
Based on how one uses any item there can be unpleasant situations, even with the handling of new things there can be. But based on how the average person uses a pipe, with a basic cleaning we can be more than safe. The most used pipe has been in far fewer mouths than the average fork in any restaurant.
 

Sig

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jul 18, 2023
286
1,511
Western NY
Based on how one uses a pipe, I suppose they did need to come up with a more appealing way to refer to a "used" one. I can see how this could be applied to other used "personal" items:

Estate dentures
Estate catheters
Estate colostomy bags
Estate dental floss
Estate tooth brushes
etc.
This reminds me of something that happened too me in the early 1990s......straight out of a Seinfeld episode.
I was in a relationship with a certain girl.
After a few months she stayed at my house occasionally.
One morning she tells me, "hey, I used your toothbrush, I hope you don't mind."
Well, I minded....very much.
I know it sounds odd because we had been.....um.....more "intimate" than sharing a toothbrush, but it grossed me out!
Sorry for hijacking the thread. :)
 

Wheels

Lurker
Mar 19, 2024
46
122
Orange county, California
Thanks for the answers. I wondered if there were any quality factors involved. I guess I have a few. Back about 1970 an elderly neighbor gave me his collection. An interesting guy, a WW1 vet. There's an Emperor, a Sunrise, and a Yelo-Bole that are nice little pipes
 

newbroom

Lifer
Jul 11, 2014
6,279
8,620
North Central Florida
"Oh, no," he answered, "I never smoke a new corn-cob pipe. A new pipe irritates the throat. No corn-cob pipe is fit for anything until it has been used at least a fortnight."

"How do you manage then?" I asked. "Do you follow the example of the man with the tight boots;--wear them a couple of weeks before they can be put on?"

"No," said Mark Twain, "I always hire a cheap man--a man who doesn't amount to much, anyhow--who would be as well--or better--dead, and let him break in the pipe for me. I get him to smoke the pipe for a couple of weeks, then put in a new stem, and continue operations as long as the pipe holds together."
 
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sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
20,183
46,856
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
Based on how one uses a pipe, I suppose they did need to come up with a more appealing way to refer to a "used" one. I can see how this could be applied to other used "personal" items:

Estate dentures
Estate catheters
Estate colostomy bags
Estate dental floss
Estate tooth brushes
etc.
You forgot estate sexual partners, whether for the purpose of dating or matrimony.
If putting one’s mouth where someone else has been grosses one out, one should stick to virgins.
 
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