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Thread: Last One for Me: Wally Frank Collector Zulu [Pic Heavy]

  1. #1
    PSU Member Piffyr's Avatar
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    Last One for Me: Wally Frank Collector Zulu [Pic Heavy]

    I’ve been collecting Wally Frank pipes for a while now. It was the old catalogs that pulled me in. If you’ve never read through one, you should. Wally Frank didn’t sell pipes. They sold stories and it was the stories sold the pipes. So, the last pipe that I’ll be doing for myself for a while is this Wally Frank Collector.

    From the catalog description…

    “We present these beautiful pipes in a number of unusual shapes for the collector. The shapes have been selected according to popularity from our Pipes of the Month. Made from genuine Corsican Briar Root, these Pipes are finished in a light Sun tan color. Each pipe is hand mounted with a beautiful quality Vulcanite mouthpiece, and equipped with a special double ball dry smoking condenser tube.”

    An interesting note is that the words “Corsican Briar Root” were replaced with “North Carolina burl root” during the war years.

    Both the Pipe of the Month Club and the Collector series appear to have been discontinued in the early-’60s or maybe a little earlier. This pipe is a perfect match for Weber’s shape #143. So, I’m assuming that the pipe was sold near the tail end of that run. No condenser tube in this one, but some shapes didn’t have them and the tubes may not have been used at all by the time this pipe was made. Instead, the pipe is equipped with a small, hourglass-shaped doohickey made from either some type of wood or bone that has been stained over the years. I honestly can’t tell, even after inspecting it under a 60x loupe.





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  2. #2
    PSU Member Piffyr's Avatar
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    The natural briar used in this Collector is flawless. No fills whatsoever, which is something of a coupe for a post-war Wally Frank pipe. Its best feature, however, is something that I can’t show in photos.

    Chatoyance is a term used in fine wood finishing (and jewelry too, I think) to describe a peculiar, optical feature of some woods. As your viewing angle changes, the grain of chatoyant wood appears to move as well. This creates a 3-D-like effect similar to those holographic baseball cards and the like. It looks like you’re seeing into the wood, just below the surface. Very, very cool.

    I’ve seen chatoyance many times in other woods, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in briar. The effect is most evident in the cross grain along the bottom, but it can be seen to varying degrees over the entire pipe. I wish that I could show it, but I think the pipe still looks pretty damn good without it.








    Specs:
    Weight: 26g / 0.9 oz.
    Length: 131mm / 5.16 in.
    Bowl height: 40mm / 1.57 in.
    Bowl width: 32mm / 1.25 in.
    Chamber diameter: 19mm / .75 in.
    Chamber depth: 32mm / 1.25 in.
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  3. #3
    PSU Member Rockbass's Avatar
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    Fine job Anthony! Now it is really a " Collector".
    I can resist anything but temptation.

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    PSU Owner dmcmtk's Avatar
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    It is a very nicely figured piece of briar! The stem insert looks like it could be...bakelite?

  5. #5
    PSU Member Jorgen Jensen's Avatar
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    " They sold stories" and I love those stories. Fine and well shaped pipe !

  6. #6
    PSU Member Piffyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmcmtk View Post
    It is a very nicely figured piece of briar! The stem insert looks like it could be...bakelite?
    No, it's organic, whatever it is. I can see the fibers under the loupe, but at this scale it's hard to tell wood from bone unless you're a forensic scientist or something similar. I've seen these things made with both. Doesn't matter either way because I won't be using it. It has served its photographic purpose and has already been put away.
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  7. #7
    PSU Member Piffyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Jensen View Post
    " They sold stories" and I love those stories.
    I do too, Jorgen. Sad, little pipe nerd that I am, I sometimes go to bed at night reading old pipe catalogs like bedtime stories. ... Which reminds me ... I just got a 1936 Wally Frank catalog out of the mail today! That will be the oldest I've seen. I'll be sleeping well tonight!
    COOK'S FINE PIPE WORKS
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  8. #8
    PSU Member coalsmoke's Avatar
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    Another fine pipe restoration, Anthony! The before and after photos are just amazing.
    Russ

    A simple life creates more time for living.

  9. #9
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    Beautiful restoration. Stunning!
    Tobacco is my favourite vegetable - Frank Zappa

  10. #10


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    Another excellent post and Russ pipped me to the post on the photo qualiity when I was in my greedy phase I always looked at a pipe if it was one I would smoke I Would go after it but how many pipe can a person have but that one is surely smokeable.

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