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A Dunhill Briar Question

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tin man

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There appears to be two different styles of Dunhill briar. The shell and the root briar. My question is this. As you move up to the level of root briar, lets say amber root or blonde root, does the smoking quality go up too? Or is the quality level an aesthetic achievement?

Any opinion from a brother who owns and smokes both the root and shell briar would be greatly appreciated. :cheers:

:pipe:
 

jhuggett

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limited opinion here but did it move up when you smoked a shell???
 

tin man

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Hmmmmmm...... not sure I understand Jason. Maybe I'm confusing everyone.

I have a black Dunhill Shell pot and a small Dunhill Cumberland. What I'm wondering is, if I spend 700 dollars on an Amber Root, is the quality of the briar better than the Shell in terms of how it smokes? Or does it cost more because it is prettier?
 

jhuggett

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You were quite clear, I just didn't read it correctly. :lol:
 

Justpipes

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I only on a Dunhill Shell but I can't imagine that the smoking quality would be any better with a Root Briar. I could be wrong so it will be interesting to here from someone that owns both. Obviously the Root probably has less pits and is the reason that it made that grade but as far as smoking I wouldn't think it would make that much difference.
 

Puff Daddy

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It's my understanding that pipes are shaped, and if the finished shape has surface flaws it is either rusticated or sandblasted, which would mean the wood is the same and the finish is decided upon when the shaped pipe is inspected. How could you pick out a block of briar and decide "This will be a group 5 amber root ** billiard and have any way of knowing that the finished pipe wont have a big sandpit or something right there on the surface?

I'd guess that the difference you notice has much to do with the design and engineering of the pipes, not so much the wood. I say this cuz I know your 2 dunny's are roughly the same vintage. If one were a 1940's era pipe I'd be more inclined to believe that the wood could play a big part in the differences you feel are there. You have a short, group 4 pot and a group 1 billiard, very, very different pipes as far as design and engineering go.
 

glpease

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tin man":wzuks57o said:
There appears to be two different styles of Dunhill briar. The shell and the root briar. My question is this. As you move up to the level of root briar, lets say amber root or blonde root, does the smoking quality go up too? Or is the quality level an aesthetic achievement?

Any opinion from a brother who owns and smokes both the root and shell briar would be greatly appreciated. :cheers:

:pipe:
I'm not a Dunhill expert, and my impressions are limited to older examples, as most of the Dunhills I've ever owned have been from 1959 or earlier, but in my experience, early Shells have consistently provided a better smoke than the smooth finishes. It's always been my understanding that, at least in the earlier years, different briar was used for different finishes. That destined for Shells was chosen for it's ability to be sandblasted well. Roots were chosen for tighter grain. Prior to the introduction of the Root, and forgive me if I forget the date, Bruyere's and Shells may have been made from the same wood.

Things at Dunhill changed in about 1967, according to some sources, when they stopped using the oil-cure, and possibly stopped purpose selecting wood.

All that said, I really like my old Dunnies. They always seemed to pay a great deal of attention to what was going on inside the airways and at the funnel of the mouthpieces, and I think this is part of what makes the best of them smoke so very, very well.
 

peterwd

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I have found with Dunhill's as with Greg it is the age of the pipe which is most important. I have Dunhill's that are pre and post war which are far better than my most recent which is a POY 2005.

It is a very similar situation with Peterson's a pre republic made one is far better than most modern ones. My oldest Petersons was made in approx 1916.

I was lucky enough to have inherited most of these, but these days when buying I tend to seek out the older models.
 

Puff Daddy

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glpease":haggwfx3 said:
It's always been my understanding that, at least in the earlier years, different briar was used for different finishes.
Interesting. My above comments are based on what I've heard and read about pipemaking in general. I do have and have had Dunhill shells, cumberlands and roots ranging from the mid sixties, mid seventies and early 2000's. I never noticed any great difference in the quality of the briar itself, but I've never owned any of the coveted early Dunhills either. I certainly have no specific knowledge of Dunhills' briar selection but I do find the selecting of different briars for different finishes both odd and interesting. I can grok the idea of how different pieces of briar may be better for different styles of carving (shells vs smooths) but it seems that it would set the carver up for a very high rate of unuseable smooth stummells as I'd think that a huge number of briar blocks carved to be smooths would end up with some fatal flaw in the final stages.

Maybe those stummels became Parkers or some other second?
 
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