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Thread: What I lucked into Saturday Night...

  1. #1
    PSU Member McGyver's Avatar
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    Sonny
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    What I lucked into Saturday Night...

    Saturday evening, I was at a motorcycle event with the guys. I was smoking my pipe and having a generally good evening. An individual came up and said that it is rare to see someone smoking a pipe in public anymore. I told him that I had only been enjoying the hobby for about 2 years but I do enjoy it. He told me that he use to smoke pipes, and that his uncle had received a bunch of pipes and stands from his friend that had passed away. (Yeah, I thought it a bit odd as well, kinda like the old, I know a guy who knows a guy...but the story continues). His uncle had given the pipes to him and he was just moving to Phoenix and had no place for them. He said that he had these pipe and racks in his car and asked if I wanted to see them. (starting to sound a bit shady, but hey, it's worth a look). So he, I, and one of the guys (who was also packing - Yeah, in Phoenix, or anywhere really, you can't be too careful) went out to the car to see what he had.

    He opened the trunk and pulls out this cardboard box. Inside are several racks of various types and a bunch of pipes. I start pulling out the racks and they are in very good condition. They are all Decatur pipe racks except for one.

    Two 24 pipe racks (one hanging type, one 12x2 row table display type)
    One 7 pipe rack (hanging type)
    One 12 pipe round stand with glass tobacco container and wooden lid
    One rectangle 6 pipe stand with the lidded tobacco box in the center
    The last one is a ceramic type 4 pipe stand with a map decoupaged on it (I thought it was some resin type thing at first).

    In the bottom of the box, there were what looked like a couple dozen pipes or so from what I could see, and most were in decent condition for being in a cardboard box in the back of some guys trunk. Talking to my friend who also smokes a pipe, I started to figure the cost. The guy was needing the money so I offered him $60.00 for the lot...He didn't even blink an eye...Sold! Again with the Fell off the truck, wink wink nudge nudge feeling. But I gave him his $60.00 and took my box to the truck.

    Sunday Night, I sat and started going though the lot...The stands were in Very good condition. I hit them with a bit of polishing oil and they cleaned up very nicely. I figure that the pipe stands alone would be worth $60.00 if I were to try and find them on E-Bay and definitely more if I were to buy them in a shop. The one that I thought was resin was actually a ceramic one made in Italy (according to the tag on the bottom). It cleaned up well with a little soap and water, and had no chips or cracks.

    Now to the pipes...The guy must have been a Dr. Grabow and Whitehall pipe fanatic. There were 43 pipes in the box. All but one are serviceable and able to be restored and smoked. The broken one was a leather-wrapped type that had the bowl broken. It is all there, but the bowl is cracked in 3 spots. Almost all the stems are brown with oxidation and will need a good cleaning to bring back to black.

    Types are as follows:

    There are 6 or 7 Grabow Viking metal pipes with various types of screw-on bowls. I thought they might have been Falcons at first, but they are still nice, in good condition, and all the parts are there and there was one extra bit in the rectangular pipe stand box.

    There are 6 or 7 of the colored bowl Grabow pipes (red, blue, green, white, and an orange-ish color). I have seen these on E-Bay, but never in person...I always pictured that if they smoked pipes on Star Trek, these would be the ones they used.

    The briar Grabows are in good condition. There are two Grabow meerschaum lined pipes that are unsmoked. After doing some looking this morning, I found out that the Grabow pipes were "pre-smoked" by their smoking machine, so it is impossible to truly know if any of them are unsmoked by a customer or not.

    A couple of Yello-Bowl pipes in good condition but the yellow bowl coating on one is about 50 percent gone and the other is mostly there.

    The Whitehall pipes are of various types. Several of these pipes have never been smoked as well. I went online to do some searching and on Pipedia, this was all that they had, "Whitehall pipes were made by Ben Wade in England, some in Italy." Hmmm...More searching turned up not much else. I did see a couple of reviews and blog on Reborn Pipes where one was restored. About half of these pipes are Whitehalls, so as I go through and do an inventory of type, I will add more information here.

    No, I didn't luck into finding an old Dunhill shell in the box...But I think I made out pretty good...my pipe inventory is now over 50...As I clean some of these up, I might put some on E-Bay, or I might just hang on to them. But I think I made out pretty good for a $60.00 investment. And as I said above...Pics will be coming!!! Soon as I can find a place to put them all out! ;)
    Take care and check six!

    McGyver

    "If it ain't broke, you haven't tried hard enough yet"

    Pipe Smoking - The next Extreme Sport - Where else can you take something that can cost almost as much as a car, fill it with combustible material, and light it on fire...for enjoyment!

  2. #2
    PSU Member coalsmoke's Avatar
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    What a deal, Sonny! Perhaps someone here can add a bit more info on the Whitehalls.
    Russ

    After all of the statistics and reports are finished with, I've come to the conclusion that the only real danger of smoking a pipe is being interrupted.

  3. #3
    PSU Member BillyPM's Avatar
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    Golly. GOLLY!!!
    Billy
    --------
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

  4. #4
    ADMINISTRATOR dmcmtk's Avatar
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    Sonny that's a great story!

  5. #5
    PSU Member Simon G's Avatar
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    Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!! You did rather well.
    St. Bruno simply satisfies!

  6. #6
    PSU Member Piffyr's Avatar
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    Awesome score, Sonny! You lucked up indeed! It's likely that just one of those 24-pipe racks would cost you $60 on eBay and then you'd have to pay shipping on top of that. Well done!

    I happen to be a fan of old Grabows and collect a few of them. If possible, I'd love to see a photo of the whole lot. Not all are pre-smoked. Just the older ones. After they retired the pre-smoking machine the bowls just received a standard carbon coating that you see on many modern pipes. It's pretty easy to tell a pre-smoked pipe from one that was smoked after sale. The "factory smoked" pipes will have only a very light carbonized appearance in the chamber. No appreciable cake at all. If you see cake buildup in the chamber or on the rim, then the pipe has been smoked aftermarket. By the way, Edgeworth Ready Rubbed was the blend that was used in pre-smoking.

    Give me a shout if you decide to get rid of any of them. There are a couple of versions of the Viking that I'd be interested in. Also, a Color Duke in any color but white.

    You can disregard Pipedia's information on Whitehall. It's not wrong, but misleading. Whitehall was an American pipe company that bought pipes from foreign manufacturers (mostly Italy and France) and rebranded them for the stateside market. The may have bought some pipes from Ben Wade, but they were not associated with Ben Wade in any other regard.
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  7. #7
    Moderator Brooklin Bill's Avatar
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    Like a royal flush, things just fall into place. I'm glad you finally were able to get them.
    "The box with the least amount of matches makes the most noise." MWB

  8. #8
    PSU Member Dunstan Hillwell's Avatar
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    What a haul..! Congratulations.

    In tabaco veritas et fumo ergo sum
    (Masperius the Elder)

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